Skip to Main Content
Accessibility Information

IDS 401 - Global Society

Course guide developed specifically for IDS 401 to help support the research of this course, specifically in the final projects.


To get you started in thinking how your topic might be looked at through the historical lens, let's use the event of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. In an effort to produce more energy to meet the world's demands, nuclear power was developed as a low pollution option. A nuclear plant was built in the northern part of Ukraine in a small town called Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986 the plant's number 4 reactor experienced melting causing an explosion which "blew the top of the reactor and sent a wide trail of radioactive material across large parts of the Soviet Union" (para. 1). To learn more about this event and nuclear power, watch the videos below. Chernobyl Disaster covers the history of the event and the aftermath of the destruction. The Science of Nuclear Power provides a broader overview of the topic. 

To begin to analyze this event like a historian, what would be some questions that we could ask? Here are some ideas:

  • When was the technology surrounding nuclear power developed? What was it's original intent?
  • When and where was the first nuclear power plant built and deployed?
  • What issues were the creators of this technology and energy approach trying to solve at the time?
  • What was happening in the world at the time this technology/idea was developed? How did those events/issues influence the creation and implementation of nuclear energy?
  • How did the Chernobyl plant get developed? 
  • What caused the Chernobyl reactor to overheat?



image of the science of nuclear power film




Price, V. (2018). Chernobyl nuclear accident. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from Research Starters This link opens in a new window 

Suggested Databases

The list below are some examples of the library's databases that you could use to search for primary and secondary sources on Chernobyl, nuclear energy/power and globalization. See some ideas on how to use keywords to construct your searches.

  • nuclear power AND history
  • nuclear power AND creators
  • Chernobyl AND creation
  • Arms Race AND nuclear