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Message posted on 29/06/2020

kind reminder: CfA: negotiating radiation protection

Negotiating Radiation Protection

*Global Webinar*+Workshop


Prof. Angela Creager, Princeton University

Prof. Kenji Ito, SOKENDAI

Prof. Susan Lindee, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. Maria Rentetzi, Technical University Berlin/Max Planck Institute for
History of Science

The history of radiation protection is more than just a story of scientific
standard-setting and regulatory control both within and among nations. The
subject calls for a broader conception of international relations, science
diplomacy, and circulation of knowledge, materials, and expertise. Over
time, radiation protection involved experts in fields ranging from physics
to ecology, engineering to political science, and even sociology, public
health, and psychology. These experts competed and cooperated to exert
their authority through international organizations and regulatory
bodies. This webinar explores
the kind of organizational structures, material resources, knowledge
systems, and diplomatic practices that allowed the social and political
shaping of the scientific field of radiation protection.

Focusing mainly on the period before World War II, historians have
highlighted scientists' struggles (a) to define the appropriate unit of
radiation; (b) to invent suitable measurement devices; (c) to detect and to
agree on the effects of radiation on biological systems; and (d) to
identify the acceptable risk of radiation exposure. The scientific
controversies that emerged in these processes reveal the powerful role of
those scientific institutions responsible for standards for radiation
safety. Most of these studies are focused on the U.S.

After World War II, the rapid development and adoption of new medical
technologies such as radioisotope teletherapy units and the development of
the nuclear power industry posed numerous challenges in the field of
radiation protection, pushing traditional centers of power such as the
Paris and Vienna Radium Institutes aside. The mass quantities and new types
of radiation and radioactive materials forced new approaches in the field
and created opportunities for the international regulation of radiation
risks. Undoubtedly, the international regulatory system that took shape at
the end of the 1950s was a result of the geopolitical division of the Cold
War. Regulation became an instrument of social management and a matter of
political dispute among UN agencies, established international disciplinary
organizations, state and non-state actors, groups of prominent scientists,
and uneasy diplomats. As the nuclear power industry became multinational,
radiation protection standards were negotiated in the context of
international politics where centralized global institutions, politicians,
diplomats, and corporations play significant roles.

This webinar seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars
working, among other fields, on the transnational history of nuclear
knowledge, on diplomatic history and political sciences, on history of
international law, on history of medicine and epidemiology, and the role of
international organizations in shaping policies concerning radiation
protection throughout the 20th century. Our main question is how the notion
of radioactive contamination crossed the border between science and
politics. We are interested in the work of those who employ historical,
philosophical, sociological methods and methodological tools from political
sciences and international relations in order to investigate (to mentions
just a few research directions)

· the nuclear diplomacy in and around international organizations
such as IAEA and ICRP or important bilateral institutions such as RERF;

· bilateral negotiations in relation to exchange of material and
human resources in the field of radiation protection;

· science diplomacy concerning radiation protection, nuclear
safeguards, and technical assistance programs;

· the historical role of diplomats and science/technical experts in
negotiating nuclear agreements;

· the international law concerning nuclear issues.

The webinar takes place once a month during the academic year 2020-2021
from September 2020 to June 2021 (10 meetings). Participants are invited to
present their pre-circulated papers and a commentator leads the online
discussion. Key scholars from diverse fields will be invited as
commentators to encourage strong interdisciplinary discussion. At the end
of the academic year—if the covid-19 pandemic allows us—the entire group
will meet in Berlin for a workshop and for planning the publication of
a collective
volume. Some travel funding will be available for participants whose
institutions cannot cover their trip to Berlin.

The webinar is part of the HRP-IAEA project that has received funding from
the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme (Consolidator Grant agreement No770548)
led by Prof. Maria Rentetzi at the Technical University Berlin.

Application procedure:

Please send us a brief description of your research project (up to 1500
words) and a short cv. Applications should be sent to Ms Nina Krampitz

cc to Maria Rentetzi

Deadline: 30 July 2020

We are looking forward to your contributions.
Professor Dr. Maria Rentetzi,
ERC Consolidator Grantee

Technical University Berlin

Faculty I - Humanities
Institute of Philosophy, Literary Studies, History of Science and Technology

Straße des 17. Juni 135
D - 10623 Berlin

skype name: live:mrentetz_1

President of the Gender Commission of DHST (2017-2021)
International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science
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