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Social sciences

How do we build bridges with the general public?

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Bridge-builders between nuclear sciences and society

Nuclear research, its applications or exposure to ionising radiation may seem a distant prospect, but they are actually linked to society in many ways.

To map out the relationship between society and nuclear technologies, we conduct social scientific research. We consider questions such as:

  • What perceptions does the population have around nuclear technologies?
  • How can social concerns be taken into account in scientific research?
  • How can we as a society ensure that we make informed choices about ionising radiation, now and in the future?

💡 By answering such questions, SCK CEN helps create science with and for society.

  • Participation: your voice matters!

    Dealing with such complex, societal questions requires multiple insights, experiences and knowledge from all parts of society, including citizens.

  • Barometer: to measure = to know

    The SCK CEN Barometer is a biannual opinion poll that gives us a valuable insight into the perception of the Belgian adult population on radiation risks and nuclear technology.

  • Sustainability: together we can achieve better solutions

    To be considered sustainable, a remediation project should take into account not only the environmental and economic aspects, but also the social ones (health, culture, social relations, sense of belonging…). At SCK CEN we conduct research to show how societal priorities, values and concerns can be included into decisions regarding site remediation.

  • Nuclear waste: science and ethics

    The applications of nuclear science and technology raise many ethical questions. One of the most complex issues is deciding about the management and disposal of radioactive waste. What will future generations think of our decisions? What would a fair decision be?

  • Radon! Help us help you.

    Unfortunately, many people who live in radon-prone areas do not test their homes for radon, nor do they protect themselves from it. Social scientists undertake research to find out why this is the case and how they can motivate people to protect themselves.

  • Citizen science

    Citizen science refers to the participation of citizens in scientific activities. These activities range from collecting data (e.g. counting birds in your garden) to developing a research question. Thus, citizen science aims to be science of, for and by citizens.

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