Citizen science at Fukushima

2019-05-17

SCK•CEN publishes a workshop report on the role and potential of citizen science in nuclear safety governance in Japan and Europe.

In this workshop report, PISA researchers Michiel van Oudheusden (SCK•CEN) and Joke Kenens (phD student), together with Japanese social scientists, shed light on the development of citizen science initiatives after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Citizen science is a form of science developed and enacted by citizens, with citizen volunteers collecting or analyzing various kinds of data. “In this project we experienced the transformative power of citizen science. Citizen scientists do more than measure radiation - they generate new tools and devices, bridge cultures and disciplines, and connect communities to their environments”, explains Michiel Van Oudheusden. 

The report illustrates how the Fukushima disaster has informed the development of citizen science as a distinct field, with citizens generating their own radiation measuring tools and data - often in ways that challenge formal institutional approaches to nuclear safety governance. It invites formal institutions (members of policy and oversight bodies, nuclear safety organizations, professional scientists) to proactively engage with bottom-up citizen science by considering how citizen science concepts and approaches can strengthen science policy, safety governance,
and public engagement strategies.

More information

Read the ‘Citizen science after Fukushima’ report here.