In 2019, four years before the release of this summer’s blockbuster Oppenheimer, Kevin Hamilton, Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, published a book titled Lookout America!: The Secret Hollywood Studio at the Heart of the Cold War, with co-author Ned O’Gorman. The studio was responsible for putting out propaganda films that “played a central role in the U.S. government’s efforts to control – often unsuccessfully – the science and story around nuclear weapons in their early years.”
Hamilton was interviewed recently about the book, juxtaposed against the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer that many are now familiar with because of the movie. You can read the full interview here. The films they’ve studied are available on their website for the project.
Apparently there is also a very strong connection between the University of Illinois and Oppenheimer’s work on the atomic bomb, involving several scientists from the Physics department. You can read more about that in The News-Gazette.