The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network (http://apstsn.org) convened in Singapore 15-17 July 2013. Three scholars from Fukushima Medical University joined it and made presentations.
Since November 2012, several expert meetings have been conducted at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria that involve Japanese and international physicians and Science and Technology Studies (STS) experts, including various social scientists from the fields of sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology. These expert meetings are components of two projects that are initiated and coordinated by Dr Rethy Chhem and Dr Gregory Clancey.
In these two projects, the IAEA, in collaboration with FMU, Hiroshima University and Nagasaki University, aims to enhance radiation medicine education and to strengthen research cooperation in radiation disaster medicine related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Several outcomes of the projects are enhancements of education programmes in radiation disaster management with the incorporation of STS for health professionals and emphasis on communication in an atmosphere of uncertainty and mistrust. A further outcome includes the contribution to the APSTSN special panel on Monday 15 July on “Medical and Academic Responses to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” with plenary speakers from Hiroshima University (Kenji Kamiya, Mariko Komatsu) and Fukushima Medical University (Arifumi Hasegawa, Atsushi Kumagai, Kenneth Nollet).
The IAEA has funded several staff members from FMU to participate in this plenary session, Dr. Arifumi Hasegawa, Dr. Atsushi Kumagai and Dr. Kenneth Nollet.
This plenary session at the conference stressed the importance of a multidisciplinary approach that is STS in helping to overcome the numerous difficulties in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. While STS may not provide ready-made answers to the various health challenges following a nuclear disaster, it does help us to understand them more clearly, and also provides a useful conceptual framework in which practical solutions may be developed and successfully applied in the future.
1.Radiating Truth from Fukushima
Kenneth E. NOLLET, MD, PhD
2. Engaging Medical Students in Radiation Emergency Medicine
Arifumi HASEGAWA, MD, PhD