Avec Karena Kalmbach, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, TU/e.

Jeudi 30 mars 2017, 17h à 19h

Institut des sciences de la communication
20 rue Berbier-du-Mets, Paris 13e
Métro 7 « Les Gobelins »

 
Séminaire Histoire des sciences, histoire de l’innovation

Using the past for debating the future : the role of Chernobyl in British and French nuclear discourses

 
30 mars 2017, 17h à 19h, ISCC

Accueil > Évènements > Séminaires et ateliers réguliers > Histoire des sciences, histoire de l’innovation > 2016/2017

 

Résumé

Although a large scale accident in a nuclear power plant can be considered an ideal type of a transnational event, debates on Chernobyl have remained very much bound by national frameworks. This becomes particularly obvious in the comparison of the French and British Chernobyl debates, where multiple factors, specific to the national context, have shaped the different trajectories of the debates. In France, from the outset, Chernobyl was framed as a French debate, and placed into the context of the nucléocratie. In Britain, such an interpretative framework did not exist for the civil nuclear programme, since the predominant criticism against the nuclear enterprise had always been directed against the military complex and more focused on aspects of international relations than on the national nuclear energy complex. In Britain, therefore, Chernobyl was considered from a global perspective, whereas in France the focus was placed on the accident’s impact at home. However, with the end of the Cold War and the British government’s decision in the mid-1990s to no longer finance new nuclear power plants, anti-nuclear positions as such lost their impetus. Thus, few people in Britain were interested transforming the debate on the health impact of Chernobyl into a proxy war in the fight over the legitimacy of the civil nuclear enterprise, as was happening in France. Leaving this discursive and commemorative gap to the solidarity movement, in Britain, Chernobyl did not become an anti-nuclear lieu de mémoire as it did in France, but instead became associated primarily with charity activities for disabled or unprivileged children from Eastern Europe which effectively ‘depoliticized’ Chernobyl and separated it from the nuclear debate.

Karena Kalmbach est professeure adjointe à la Division de l’histoire du Groupe de la technologie, de l’innovation et de la société (TU/e). Elle a obtenu son doctorat à l’Institut universitaire européen de Florence en 2014. Sa thèse Signification d’un désastre : la « vérité » contestée sur Tchernobyl regarde les débats britanniques et français autour de l’accident de Tchernobyl et étudie la transnationalité des arguments et des acteurs. Son livre publié à l’issu de sa thèse a remporté le Prix du livre 2015 pour les jeunes chercheurs du Comité international pour l’histoire de la technologie (ICOHTEC). En 2014, elle a rejoint le Centre de recherche sur la politique environnementale de la FU Berlin. En tant que membre du groupe de recherche Multi Level Governance-Perspectives on Management of Nuclear Waste Disposal, elle a travaillé sur les questions de conflits, d’acceptation et d’acceptabilité. Elle est en train d’établir un nouveau projet de recherche sur le rôle de la peur comme argument dans les discours pro-technologie.