William Walters on 'What can the ruins of an atomic weapons research facility tell us about the multiplicity of secrecy?'

6 November 2018, 6.00 PM - 6 November 2018, 8.00 PM

2D3 Social Sciences Complex

The GIC is hosting Professor William Walters of Carlton University as a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor in November 2018.

As part of his visit he will be giving a public lecture titled ‘What can the ruins of an atomic weapons research facility tell us about the multiplicity of secrecy?’.  

Date: 6th November

Time: 18:00-20:00

Venue: 2D3 Social Sciences Complex

Followed by a drinks reception.

This event is free but booking is required.  To reserve a ticket, click here.


Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor William Walters will be joined by former Orford Ness employee and independent researcher, David Warren to discuss the formerly top-secret military and security site, Orford Ness in Suffolk. Located on the easternmost coast of Britain, Orford Ness was for nearly 70 years a place where key weapons, intelligence and surveillance technologies were tested and developed. In the 1950s and 1960s it became part of Britain’s atomic weapons research estate, performing stress testing on the early generations of the atomic bomb. Today much of the site lies in ruins. It is managed by the environmental charity, National Trust, which manages the site as a place of environmental and historical significance.

Whereas journalism and blogging has often approached Orford Ness as a secret to be revealed this presentation explores the multiple ways in which different actors experience, construct, and use secrecy at this place. It will show that far from being a truth to be uncovered the secrecy of Orford Ness is better characterized as multiple, shifting, and fluid. The presentation will conclude by considering the implications of these findings about multiplicity for theories of power and secrecy.

This event is part of the Secrecy and Security working group programme of work at the GIC.   

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