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New Nuclear Imaginaries

Harvard STS Program

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM - Friday, April 7, 2017 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

New Nuclear Imaginaries

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New Nuclear Imaginaries


April 6-7, 2017


Harvard University


Draft Program




Thursday, April 6  – Harvard University Center for the Environment, Room 440




2:00     Opening Remarks


Nuclear worlds today are at a crossroads. As infrastructures age, stockpiles and wastes accumulate, and technologies, materials and interpretations proliferate, we face questions about how to build a just and responsible future out of the ambiguous legacies we have inherited. The future presents challenges of imagination as much as of technology and policy.


Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard Kennedy School)


Andy Stirling (University of Sussex, SPRU)




2:15     Session 1:  Nuclear Pasts and Futures


What are the emerging metaphors, images, framings, and discourses of contemporary nuclear thinking. Which do we believe will be more and less helpful in building a future world we’d like to see?




Ulrike Felt (University of Vienna)


Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard Kennedy School)


Andrew Stirling (University of Sussex)


Matthew Bunn (Harvard Kennedy School)


Richard Lester (MIT)




4:00     Break




5:00     Public Lecture: Atomic Imaginations - Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School


Keynote Speaker: Jonathon Porritt (Forum for the Future), “Nuclear Chimeras: Britain’s Slow Death as a Nuclear Power”


Porritt is a British environmentalist and writer, author most recently of The World We Made (Phaidon 2015). He has been a longstanding campaigner against nuclear power.


With Panelists:


Carol Cohn (University of Massachusetts, Boston)


Allison Macfarlane (George Washington University)


Jayita Sarkar (Boston University)


Daniel Schrag (Harvard University Center for the Environment)



Friday, April 7 – Harvard University Center for the Environment, Room 440


The morning sessions will bring out how previous articulations of nuclear threats and their management have made some things (technical aspects, power relations, infrastructures, etc.) visible and hidden or contained others. Speakers will discuss how decisions about visibility and invisibility—whether explicit or unconscious—may have unintended consequences.



9:00     Session 2: Concealments


Lynn Eden (Stanford University)


Scott Kemp (MIT)


Christopher Lawrence (Harvard, STS Program)


Rebecca Slayton (Cornell University)


Alex Wellerstein (Stevens Institute of Technology)



10:30   Coffee



11:00   Session 3: Memory and Forgetfulness


Michael Dennis (Naval War College)


      Egle Rindzeviciute (Kingston University, London)


Kyoko Sato (Stanford University, STS)


Sonja Schmid (Virginia Tech)



12:30   Lunch


The afternoon sessions will allow speakers to discuss what they see as the major challenges regarding nuclear energy and nuclear weapons in the 21st century. Our hope is that some of the STS themes arising during the absence/visibility section will be carried over into this more concrete discussion of nuclear issues.


1:30     Session 4: Waste and Burial


Rod Ewing (Stanford University)


Peter Galison (Harvard University)


Allison Macfarlane (George Washington University)


Miranda Schreurs (TUM, Munich)


3:00     Coffee


3:30     Session 5: Security and Sustainability Discourses in the 21st Century


Matthew Bunn (Harvard Kennedy School)


Sam Weiss Evans (Harvard University)


Peter Haas (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)


Steven Miller (Harvard Kennedy School)

Have questions about New Nuclear Imaginaries? Contact Harvard STS Program

When & Where

Harvard University Center for the Environment - Room 440
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 2:00 PM - Friday, April 7, 2017 at 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Harvard STS Program

The Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is dedicated to enhancing the quality of research, education, and public debate on the role of science and technology in contemporary societies. Through integrated, cross-disciplinary initiatives in research, teaching, training, and public outreach the Program seeks to develop foundational, policy-relevant insights into the nature of science and technology, and the ways in which they both influence and are influenced by society, politics, and culture. Among the fields that significantly contribute to the STS Program’s core mission are science and technology studies, anthropology, comparative politics, history, government, law, and sociology.

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