ERC Project / HRP-IAEA

Living with Radiation – the Role of the International Atomic Agency in the History of Radiation Protection

 

HRP-IAEA – research focus

 

How best to protect us from ionizing radiation?
Despite the establishment of technical radiation standards, the harmful effects of radiation exposure continue to be a major issue in the nuclear world. Obviously, radiation protection is not a strictly techno-scientific issue.

Living with Radiation turns our attention to nuclear diplomacy as a means for understanding how our scientific knowledge about radiation protection has been shaped by diplomatic, social, economic, and political concerns. Our research marks a diplomatic turn in the history of science.

A Diplomatic Turn in History of Science

Model of IAEA’s mobile laboratory (IAEA archives)

The temporary headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Kaerntner Ring in early 1960s (IAEA archives)

The temporary headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency at Kärntner Ring in Vienna in the early 1960s (IAEA Archives)

What we do

  • study the historical role of the IAEA in shaping radiation protection
  • explore societal concerns around radiation protection
  • analyze the multiplicity of nuclear diplomacies
  • prepare policy recommendations on science diplomacy

Final ERC results will affect those who

  • design and implement radiation protection policies,
  • deal with radioactive materials both in nuclear industries and in the medical sector,
  • encounter radiation in their daily lives—as most of us do.