Touching the grass: science, uncertainty and everyday life from Chernobyl to Fukushima

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 raises profound questions, not only about the use of nuclear energy, but also about the way in which scientific knowledge is constructed and communicated. This article focuses particularly on the divergent ways in which the notion of 'uncertainty' is understood by scientists and scientific bodies engaged in studying the effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, and by the residents who are the main victims of these disasters. I argue that the approach to uncertainty and risk assessment developed by bodies like UNSCEAR and the Chernobyl Forum has been applied in Fukushima in ways that have widened the gap in understanding between academic scientists and local residents, but I also point to experiments in citizen science that have potential to help bridge this gap.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)331-362
    JournalScience, Technology and Society
    Volume19
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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