Initiative 2013: Human Survival in a New Nuclear Age
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of March 2011in Japan has once again reignited the debates about the health effects of radiation and the global development of the nuclear power industry. The disaster has reminded us that no other event in human history has made as large an impact as the splitting of the atom. From Cold War weapons testing and research that led to an environment polluted with radioactivity and has caused the displacement and sickening of populations, to the peaceful uses of radioactive materials—medicine and nuclear power—the debates that began in the first half of the 20th century continue today. The Human Survival in a New Nuclear Age initiative seeks to explore the social, political, and economic consequences of the nuclear age. What are some of the major debates about health and risk associated with radioactive pollution? What are the lasting political, social, cultural, and scientific legacies of nuclear testing and radiation related disasters? Why is the nuclear age still hotly contested, producing a diversity of perspectives?
The goal of the Human Survival in a New Nuclear Age initiative is to:
- Bring together social science researchers, scientists, and members of the community in order to address a broad range of questions associated with the nuclear age
- Disseminate this information to the public by making clear statements to the press and to the public about these topics
- Strengthen collaboration and interdisciplinary communication by supporting research by teams of scientists who would otherwise not work together.