March 1, 2021/ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

From Bhopal to Fukushima and Next Generation Disaster Governance

The presentation will address Japan’s past and future leadership role in radiation research, education, medicine and regulation, in a global frame.

In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, medical educators in Japan -- working in partnership with the Division of Human Health at the International Atomic Energy Agency -- rallied to consider how medical education needed to change to prepare medical professionals for roles in radiation health disaster prevention and response. They also established new programs at the Universities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to educate an international cadre of radiation health experts prepared to make contributions to radiational health care and governance worldwide. In this presentation, I'll share what I have learned through involvement in the planning and delivery of these new educational programs. A focus on challenges encountered in the immediate aftermath of 3-11 spiraled into wide-ranging deliberation about the need for enhanced collaboration across regions, organizations, disciplines and generations, addressing many different kinds of radiation hazards (from mines, uranium processing facilities, test sites, power plants and medicine), in many different settings. Fukushima'' became a flash point for considering what next generation radiation governance needed to become.

This presentation will launch an open seminar series -- Envisioning Next-Generation Radiation Governance -- to be held Monday evenings during March 2021 The seminar series -- co-organized by UCLA’s Terasaki Center Japan Studies, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology, and the Disaster-STS Research Network -- commemorates the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Kim Fortun is a Professor in the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology. Her research examines how people in different geographic and organizational contexts understand environmental problems, uneven distributions of environmental health risks, developments in the environmental health sciences, and factors that contribute to disaster vulnerability. Fortun is the author of Advocacy After Bhopal Environmentalism, Disaster, New World Orders (University of Chicago Press 2001). September 2017- 2019, Fortun served as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. Currently, she helps run the Disaster-STS Research Network and co-edits a book series for University of Pennsylvania Press, Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster.

 

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