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The Politics of InvisibilityPublic Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl$
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Olga Kuchinskaya

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027694

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027694.001.0001

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Setting the Limits of Knowledge

Setting the Limits of Knowledge

(p.137) 6 Setting the Limits of Knowledge
The Politics of Invisibility

Olga Kuchinskaya

The MIT Press

Chapter 6 describes the transformation of Belarusian post-Chernobyl research efforts, from the systematic development of radiological research infrastructures in the last years of the Soviet Union to massive restructuring and reframing of Chernobyl-related research ten years later, as a result of changing political and economic interests of the Belarusian government. Infrastructural disruptions to data collection and analysis created the conditions for research relying on theoretically, rather than empirically, driven approaches, and this bias supports minimizing the scope of Chernobyl-related health effects. The chapter observes that restructuring and reframing of Chernobyl-related research led to the near disappearance of the radiation factor as an object of inquiry, and to the greater invisibility of local experts who would claim expertise in the health effects of radiation exposure due to the Chernobyl accident.

Keywords:   Chernobyl, Belarus, research infrastructures, restructuring research, reframing research, local experts, health effects of radiation

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