Why Is The Manhattan Project Unethical

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The Manhattan Project began in the United States during World War II in efforts to produce a nuclear weapon that could combat Nazi Germany. The project began in 1942 when the task of building a nuclear bomb was given to the War Department. Colonel James C. Marshall established the offices at the Atlantic Division headquarters on Broadway in New York City, hence the name of the “Manhattan Engineer District (MED)” which would later be known as the Manhattan Project. A number of laboratories spawned across the country, ranging from Chicago to California, to New Mexico to Tennessee. Billions of dollars were involved in this massive undertaking involving over 100,000 people. Germany — under Hitler’s leadership — was running a similar nuclear weapons project lead coined the “uranium project.” In 1938, the groundbreaking discovery of fission was made by three German physicists. Kurt Diebner, an army physicist was employed to investigate the applications of fission along with physicist Werner Heisenberg, who calculated that nuclear fission chain reactions may be possible. Meanwhile, …show more content…
After the war, many of the scientists who had served on the Manhattan Project argued that continuing the secrecy in science that was exhibited during the war was unethical. I believe this is an ethical issue which persists today. The general pubic has a right to know what is happening in government laboratories which is funded by their own taxpayer dollars. But how much of this knowledge can be safely released to the general public? Is releasing sensitive scientific information to our nation’s population a breach of national security? I believe U.S. citizens are entitled to the information produced by our nation’s laboratories, but not at the expense of our nation’s

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