Nuclear Museum Logo
Nuclear Museum Logo

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Alice Kimball Smith (1907-2001) was an American historian and educator.

Kimball Smith 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 compilation of Oppenheimer’s letters between 1922 and 1945. She died on February 6, 2001, at the age of 94.

Alice Kimball Smith's Timeline
1907 Born in Oak Park, Illinois.
1928 Received an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College.
1936 Received a Ph.D. from Yale University.
1943 Moved to Los Alamos when her husband Cyril Smith joined the Manhattan Project.
19431945 Was a teacher at Los Alamos.
19461948 Served as assistant editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
19481960 Lectured in history at Roosevelt College.
1962 Appointed a scholar at Radcliffe College.
19701973 Served as dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study.
2001 Feb 6th Died in Ellensburg, Washington.

Related Profiles

Robert O. Webster

Los Alamos, NM

Robert Webster was a member of the Special Engineer Detatchment (SED) at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.

Mary P. Tinsley

Chicago, IL

Mary Tinsley was a laboratory techinician in the Health Division at the Metallurgical Laboratory in Chicago during the Manhattan Project.

Donald Flebbe

Los Alamos, NM

Miles P. Woodward

Los Alamos, NM