Next Generation Radiation Governance

Welcome! Thank you for visiting the site for the March 2021 Symposium.

Land Acknowledgement

Our Radiation Governance Symposium, hosted by UC Irvine and UCLA with support from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, San Francisco and the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, acknowledges the Acjachemen and Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin, southern Channel Islands, including the region from the Santa Ana River to Aliso Creek and beyond). 

Additionally, the greater Los Angeles area is home to the largest indigenous populations in the U.S. It is the ancestral homeland of the Tongva, the Acjachemen, the Chumash, the Tataviam, the Cahuilla nations, the Chemehuevi, the Pipa Aha Macav, the Morongo, the Pechanga,  the Yuhaaviatam, the Soboba among other peoples.  It is also presently home to large communities of Indigneous peoples from the greater Turtle Island, the Pacific Islands, and Central and South America, including Zapotec and Mixtec peoples. 

We acknowledge that Los Angeles is also a place with large communities of Two Spirit peoples who organize and fellowship with each other.

We acknowledge colonization as an ongoing process, the need to continue repairing the harm caused to Indigenous peoples around the world, and a special need to better govern radiation hazards in Indigenous communities.  


We want to continue this governance “cross-talk” across our fields of knowledge, our memory practices, our policies, our countries, and our toxic sites while focusing in greater depth on issues raised during this symposium.

If you are interested, then please join our mailing list for upcoming events and news.


Dr. Thomas De Pree, University of New Mexico, USA,  Professor Kim Fortun, University of California, Irvine, USA, Ina Kim, University of California, Irvine, USA, Tim Schütz, University of California, Irvine, USA,  Professor Hirotaka Sugawara, Director General Emeritus, KEK, Tsukuba, Japan,  Dr. Nadine Tanio, University of California, Irvine, USA and Professor Sharon Traweek, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Webinar Recording Teaching and Governing Radiated Places, Past and Future

Updated Symposium Schedule

March 2021 Symposium

Japan’s ongoing experiences with radiation from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Fukushima provide powerful examples of the importance of radiation governance. The tenth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear reactor failure calls for reflection on past and future radiation governance, recognized as a transnational, transdisciplinary, and transgenerational challenge and responsibility. The Envisioning Next Generation Radiation Governance Symposium held Mondays in March, 2021 will include an introductory lecture and four panel discussions exploring the archiving, regulation and education needed to support radiation governance in the future, in a wide array of places. One goal is to bring together people involved in different aspects of radiation governance, connecting efforts related to uranium mining and processing, weapons testing, nuclear power generation, food safety, radiation medicine, and so on. Another goal is to foreground diverse approaches to radiation governance stemming from diverse histories, foregrounding initiatives in Japan and the United States. Each panel will be a moderated discussion among differently-situated experts, with time for questions from the audience. This symposium extends from and supports the on-going work of the Radiation Governance Working Group in the Disaster STS Network The Radiation Governance Working Group is building a transnational community-of-practice, body of research, and teaching materials focused on radiation governance. We investigate how those with different kinds of expertise about radiation (nuclear scientists and engineers, policy makers, affected community members, regulators, facility administrators, clinicians, social science researchers, educators, et al) can construct among themselves ways of sharing their knowledge and working together to build effective governance. We also want to help build new capacity for radiation governance through educational programming and inclusive networking.

Line Drawn World Map Pacific Rim Centered

Surveying our March symposium on ‘the next generation of radiation governance’:

Sharon Traweek, 29 March 2021

Each of the previous four sessions of the have attracted 65-135 very impressive participants.

YOU, the speakers and audience members, 

+ are based in many kinds of groups and organizations:

universities, affected communities, NGOs, research institutes, national government agencies, consulting groups, and international organizations, 

+ WE represent a wide array of fields of knowledge, expertise, and experience

from the arts, community leadership, cultural studies, journalism, filmmaking, policy making, and health care, in addition to the biological, physical, and social sciences, plus engineering fields. 

+ WE are situated globally in 21 countries and territories in east, south, and west Asia, north and south America, and Europe, including Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Navajo Nation, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, and US. 

+ The symposium audience has included people from 20 to 85 years old, many of whom are prominent in their own worlds, and now ours, too.

The first four sessions of the symposium have addressed many aspects of radiation governance.

We began with an assessment of disaster studies, followed by sessions on

 the archiving, regulating, and teaching about radiation disasters and hazards.

Our final session will be/has been on community-based strategies for living with toxic waste and learning what we need to effectively govern such toxic sites.

We have had two immediate goals for this symposium and one longer term goal: we wanted

+ to attract participants with a powerful breadth and depth of engagements with our subject, and

+ we also wanted to demonstrate how to engage in robust 'cross-talk' across those often-isolated arenas.

Those two goals have been achieved!

[Of course, we are well aware that many have found it a challenge to listen to those outside their own frame of reference. We also have learned from many cases that there is so much we can learn from each other and sharing our best practices will benefit all of us.] 

+ Next, we wanted to gauge interest for future events in which we can continue this “cross-talk” while focusing in greater depth on issues raised during this symposium.

If you are interested, then please register to our mailing list.

Please the share news of the symposium and the recordings of the sessions.

As organizers we are grateful to you, the speakers and the audience, as well as to our sponsors:

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies,

the UCI Anthropology Dept, and the Disaster-STS Network.


March 29—Teaching and Governing Radiated Places

6pm Monday 29 March 2021 PDT = 10:00 Tuesday 30 March 2021 JST

In this session, we will focus on particular places facing radiation hazards, addressing their past and current governance and key lessons that should be shared in building next generation radiation governance capacities.  Confirmed panelists: Monamie Bhadra, Thomas De Pree, Terry Keyanna, Scott Knowles, Hiroko Kumaki, Maxime Polleri, Mallery Quetawki and Tony West

Continue to Teaching and Governing Radiated Places—>

Webinar Recording Radiation Education, Past and Future

March 22—Radiation Education, Past and Future

6pm Monday 22 March 2021 PDT = 10:00 Tuesday 23 March 2021 JST

Register for this webinar at


Panelists for this session have helped build diverse, interdisciplinary education programs that build radiation expertise.  We will learn what motivates and shaped the formation of these programs, and the challenges they have faced.  We also will discuss the kinds of radiation education needed in the future. Confirmed panelists: Sulfikar Amir, Rethy Chhem, Brien Hallett, Johnnye Lewis, Sonja D. Schmid, Chris Shuey, Noboru Takamura

Continue To Radiation Education—>

Webinar Recording Radiation Regulation, Past and Future

March 15—Radiation Regulation

6pm Monday 15 March 2021 PDT = 10:00 Tuesday 16 March 2021 JST

Register for this webinar at


Panelists for this session have played leading roles as nuclear and radiation regulators.  We will ask them to share their perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses in current regulatory frameworks and organizations. We also will discuss the kinds of issues that will need regulatory attention in coming years, the kinds of regulatory capacity that needs to be built, and the kinds of educational programs needed to support next-generation radiation governance. Confirmed panelists: Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Allison Macfarlane and Hirotaka Sugawara

Continue to Radiation Regulation—>

Webinar Recording 5pm Monday 8 March 2021 PST = 10:00 Tuesday 9 March 2021 JST

March 8—Radiation Archives, Past and Future

5pm Monday 8 March 2021 PST = 10:00 Tuesday 9 March 2021 JST

Register for this webinar at

In this session panelists will describe their radiation archiving practices, their perspectives on radiation knowledge databases and infrastructures needed for the future, and ideas for ways these infrastructures can be built and sustained to support radiation education and governance. Confirmed panelists: Jon Mitchell, Ryo Morimoto, Hiroko Takahashi and Sharon Traweek

Continue to Radiation Archives —>

Recorded talk: From Bhopal to Fukushima and Next Generation Disaster Governance

March 1 — From Bhopal to Fukushima

Welcoming remarks by Professor Sharon Traweek, UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, and Professor Toru Tamiya, Director, JSPS San Francisco.

A presentation by Professor Kim Fortun, From Bhopal to Fukushima and Next Generation Disaster Governance, will launch the Envisioning Next-Generation Radiation Governance symposium, posing questions and laying ground for the panel discussions to follow.

Kim Fortun is a Professor in the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology. Her research examines how people in different geographic and organizational contexts understand environmental problems, uneven distributions of environmental health risks, developments in the environmental health sciences, and factors that contribute to disaster vulnerability.  Fortun is the author of Advocacy After Bhopal Environmentalism, Disaster, New World Orders (University of Chicago Press 2001).  September 2017- 2019, Fortun served as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. Currently, she helps run the Disaster-STS Research Network and co-edits a book series for University of Pennsylvania Press, Critical Studies in Risk and Disaster.