***Special CHSTM seminar, 11/6/2019, 4pm – Jeffrey Sanders, From Bomb to Bone***
We have a fantastic opportunity for another CHSTM seminar as from the end of this week Prof. Jeffrey Sanders of Washington State University will be at the CHSTM as the holder of a Simon Visiting Professorship. His current research is in areas of interest to many of us (environmental history and activism, Cold War science and medicine, transnational scientific exchanges) which should make his talk particularly interesting:
“From Bomb to Bone”: Material Environments and Bodies in the Global Study of Strontium 90
Sanders’s lecture focuses on a secret postwar program dubbed “Project Sunshine” that brought together a network of Cold War Era scientists and workers to study the concentration of Strontium 90 in the atmosphere, soils, and food supply of the world. Teams of researchers fanned out across the globe, collecting calcium rich materials—from grass and seashells, to cheese and sheep carcasses—that easily absorbed Strontium-90, a potentially deadly product of fission. In the process the project forged partnerships between scientists in the UK and Canada as part of the Tri-Partite Exchange of Information on Nuclear Fallout. At the height of the postwar baby boom, these scientists quietly used their colonial, familial, and scientific networks to procure and assay the bones of children in order to understand global risks. In secrecy, scientists and officials hoped to control both information about human health and contain the potential PR fallout from their tests. But radioactive materials—and information—soon escaped their grasp. Sanders places “Project Sunshine” in context and helps to explain the role of secrecy and knowledge production, as well as the rise of the citizen science and grassroots political activism that would soon resist it.
We will follow the usual format of our CHSTM seminar series starting on Tuesday 11 June at 4pm in room 2.57 with the talk and a Q&A session. Pub at the end of proceedings…
Hope that you’ll be able to join us!