In our societies in which information is ubiquitous, satellites are still a matter of national pride and prestige, but they are also scientific laboratories, commercial projects, services’ providers, and part of global information infrastructures. Satellites are part and parcel of knowledge society. In particular, satellite images and calibrated measurements contribute to generate technical information about nuclear accidents, as well as to convey the public perception of them, forge debates on nuclear energy, its management and its risks, and shape environmental, regulatory and political action. Satellite data are both resources that enable regulators and policy-makers to act during and after nuclear crises as well as instruments to communicate with the large public. But how policy guidance is carried out to manage nuclear situations and how public perception of nuclear risks is constructed from, through and with satellite data? By focusing on the information generated and consumed in the aftermath of two nuclear accidents (Chernobyl 1986 and Fukushima 2011), this project aims to explore in detail the processes that transform satellite raw data into knowledge, allowing us to understand how satellite information is produced, analysed, rendered evident, disseminated and consumed. Such historically informed comparative study will provide understanding of the historical evolution of the production, circulation and reception of satellite data and their actual impact in the contexts of both defining political action and framing public opinion related to nuclear issues. This innovative study will not only enhance our academic understanding of space, nuclear and information history (and their connections), but also alert us to how knowledge from space is generated as it is transformed into information that is used to advance multiple intellectual, institutional and policy-related objectives in different social and cultural contexts.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/planetary science/satellites
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/nuclear energy
Call for proposal
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