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Wolf Schäfer

This contribution revisits the dictum "history is the teacher of life" (historia magistra vitae) and shows that modern knowledge-societies are beginning to use their growing information about natural and human history to address present-day problems. Starting with Leopold von Ranke's refusal to investigate history for the benefit of learning from it, the essay cites two contemporary attempts at extracting useful knowledge from history: "real-world experiments" and "natural experiments." Wolfgang Krohn developed the former with collaborators in Bielefeld and Jared Diamond features the latter.

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Sezin Topçu

This article adduces evidence of the central role played by scientists in the 1970s and “lay persons” in the post-Chernobyl period in the production and legitimation of alternative types of knowledge and expertise on the environmental and health risks of nuclear energy in France. From a constructivist perspective, it argues that this shift in the relationship of “lay persons” to knowledge production is linked not only to the rise of mistrust vis-à-vis scientific institutions but also, and especially, to a change in the way they have reacted to “dependency” on institutions and to “state secrecy”. Counter-expertise is constructed as a politics of surveillance where alternative interpretations of risk are buttressed by a permanent critique of the epistemic assumptions of institutional expertise. The identity of “counter-expert” is socially elaborated within this process.

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Introduction

Posthuman? Nature and Culture in Renegotiation

Kornelia Engert and Christiane Schürkmann

exposed and transformed into an ethical category. Phenomena, incidents, and developments—such as the great challenge of climate change, accidents as witnessed in Chernobyl 1989, catastrophes such as tsunamis and bushfires, or the mutation of pathogens as

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Facing a Toxic Object

Nuclear Waste Management and its Challenges for Nature-Culture-Relationships

Christiane Schürkmann

Insurance of Nuclear Hazard: Risk Policy, Safety Production and Expertise in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States]. Göttingen : Wallstein . Wynne , Brian . 1989 . “ Sheepfarming after Chernobyl: A Case Study in Communicating Scientific

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Natural Resources by Numbers

The Promise of “El uno por mil” in Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT Oil Operations

Amelia Fiske

. “ The Role of Quantitative Models in Science .” In Models in Ecosystem Science , 13 – 31 . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . Petryna , Adriana . 2002 . Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl . Princeton, NJ : Princeton

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Chemical Agents

The Biopolitical Science of Toxicity

Melina Packer

recall how they were forced to “remove” nuclear waste from the Chernobyl catastrophe (beginning in 1986) after robots disposed to complete the same task could not operate because of such extraordinarily high levels of radioactivity. This uneven proximity

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The Double Force of Vulnerability

Ethnography and Environmental Justice

Grant M. Gutierrez, Dana E. Powell, and T. L. Pendergrast

) ethnography of the Chernobyl disaster offers another deeply place-based study of the meanings that accrue around nuclear contamination, and of the political experience of occupation, dispossession of territory, and nationalism. Beyond the nuclear

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Brittany Kiessling and Keely Maxwell

Citizens after Chernobyl . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Polleri , Maxime. 2019 . “ Conflictual Collaboration: Citizen Science and the Governance of Radioactive Contamination after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster .” American Ethnologist

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Eugene N. Anderson, Jodie Asselin, Jessica diCarlo, Ritwick Ghosh, Michelle Hak Hepburn, Allison Koch, and Lindsay Vogt

“green” attitudes toward technology that emerged in the mid-twentieth century were a response to the excesses of capitalism, disasters like Chernobyl, and technologies such as DDT. When these “green” attitudes were translated into policy, he claims, they

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The Social Life of the “Forever Chemical”

PFAS Pollution Legacies and Toxic Events

Daniel Renfrew and Thomas W. Pearson

Chernobyl . Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press . PFAS Project. 2020 . “Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: The Social Discovery of a Class of Emerging Contaminants.” Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, Northeastern