Science by, with and for citizens: rethinking ‘citizen science’ after the 2011 Fukushima disaster

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Contributed date

May 10, 2021 - 6:32am

Critical Commentary

This study illustrates how citizen-driven radiation monitoring has emerged in post-Fukushima Japan, where citizens generate their own radiation data and measurement devices to provide public with actionable data about their environments. Drawing on eth- nographic fieldwork in and around Fukushima Prefecture, it highlights the multifaceted character of these bottom-up, citizen-led efforts, contrasting these initiatives with the emergence of “citizen participatory” science policy discourses in Japan. Recognizing the contested nature of citizenship in Japan and in the nuclear arena, the article considers how terms and definitions shape the participation of citizens and other stakeholders (local communities, public authorities, regulators, and professional scientists) in science and technology in culturally and historically specific ways. It builds on these observations to open up new spaces of expertise, which engage all stakeholders through social-scientific intervention.

Cite as

Joke Kenens, Michiel Van Oudheusden, Go Yoshizawa and Ine Van Hoyweghen, "Science by, with and for citizens: rethinking ‘citizen science’ after the 2011 Fukushima disaster", contributed by Tim Schütz, Disaster STS Network, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 17 May 2021, accessed 13 August 2022.‘citizen-science’-after-2011-fukushima-disaster