|One way to make radiation visible:>|
The drawings of Misato Yugi
Share by Hiroaki Koide at
World Nuclear Victims Forum
Nuclear radiation is invisible. It needs to be measured and counted to be recognized, and it requires careful scientific method to be understood. Measuring and counting and science are difficult. But . . .
. . . in this sphere, POWER depends on -- is a function of -- the ability to deal with nuclear radiation's invisibility through these means.
This was brought home to me in discussion during the lunch breaks with one of the other attendees. We were both kind of fretting over how the scientific presentations can be difficult to follow, and tiring. Couldn't we just be activists without having to sit through all these scientific presentations? we wondered.
But as we discussed it more, we realized that doing the science part -- and doing it well -- is one of the keys to success as activists, when it comes to dealing with nuclear radiation.
That's why it was so great that there were so many expert presentations at the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima. (See list of presentations in English | in Japanese.)
I think there are four corollaries to this point:
|"exposure to 1 mSv per year means that in one year, on average one ray of|
radiation passes through the nuclei of every cell in the body [about 60 trillion cells]."
(From 10 Lessons from Fukushima, Fukushima Booklet Pulbication Committee)
(a) Measurement - Simply stated, everyone who aspires to be an activist in this area will need to resign themselves to doing at least some of their communications in numbers -- including units related to radiation exposure (e.g. "sieverts"), comparisons with control groups, time series, and statistical measures.
Which is closely connected to the issue of . . .
(b) Visualization - There is a need to give prominence to high-quality visualization of data related to nuclear radiation and its effects, particularly with respect to distribution in time and space.
(I am reminded of the principles advanced by Edward Tufte, e.g. in Visual Display of Quantitative Data.)
(c) Time lag - The ultimate challenge for advocacy is that an enormous amount of time tends to transpire while data is acquired and analyzed -- especially data related to effects of nuclear radiation in humans. (And while time passes, more people are harmed by nuclear radiation.)
(This is why, I think, the "precautionary principle" has such relevance to the problem of nuclear radiation.)
|A little atomic power with your morning coffee?|
(Reddy Kilowatt flacks for the nuclear energy industry.)
(d) Messaging - The difficulty posed by the invisibility of nuclear radiation means that extreme skill must be used to come up with messaging that is successful -- providing "instant comprehension" while still remaining faithful to the underlying complexity of the physical phenomena.
(Up until now, the nuclear industry has prevailed in this area. It's time to change that.)
It's time for us to knuckle down and do the hard work to make the danger posed by nuclear radiation -- and the situation of global hibakusha -- visible.
|#GlobalHibakusha say: "Make the harm from #nuclear 100% visible!"|
(Please retweet this message!)
(See HIROSHIMA: What does it mean to say, "We are ALL 'hibakusha'?")
Gorbachev: "In light of their arguments and the strictly scientific data which they possess, there seems to be no room left for politicking. And no serious politician has the right to disregard their conclusions.”
(See When the facts all point to one conclusion: "No More Nukes" )
The tremendous contribution of the "Op-Chart" is the way it reminds us that there are actual people -- many, many people -- behind the statistics in the news we read each day about Afghanistan, and that the events are happening in a real, physical place that you can relate to via a map, and that the events that are occurring on our authority are cumulative -- they add up to a large number of people. Beyond that, however, there is a problem with the "Op-Chart": it doesn't actually do a very good job helping us detect the patterns in the assembled information.
(See Tufte, Faces, and Afghanistan Casualties )
(See Make Drone Killing 100% VISIBLE!)