The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Alice Kimball Smith

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Alice Kimball Smith was an American historian and educator. She and her husband Cyril Smith, a British metallurgist, moved to Los Alamos in 1943 after Cyril joined the Manhattan Project. Alice became a schoolteacher at Los Alamos. While on "the Hill," she and her husband became friendly with J. Robert Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty. Kimball Smith also encountered numerous other scientific luminaries, including Niels Bohr.

After the war, Kimball Smith and her husband relocated to Chicago. She served as assistant editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and lectured in history at Roosevelt College. She later became a scholar, assistant dean, and dean at the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An expert on the postwar Scientists' Movement, which sought to influence the future of nuclear energy, Kimball Smith was the author of A Peril and a Hope: The Scientists’ Movement in America, 1945-1947 and co-editor of Robert Oppenheimer: Letters and Recollections, a compliation of Oppenheimer's letters between 1922 and 1945.