Where have you been???

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Re: Where have you been???

Postby anders59 » 16 Nov 2010, 13:20

Thanks Michael..but I do not carry any credibility here. Not 100% up to date with
research in the field..this is all about facts...facts should be argued by those who know them!!

Among the nine of you there are a couple of nuclear physicists..they should of course know everyone
worth knowing in the field...

PhD students, research assistants, post docs etc are all good but with all respect..I would expect to see their supervisors
on your team!

I know how introvert they are..but if they do not understand that unless they step forward and argue their case and its importance
to the world they will not win a nobel price or get more funding...who are they and why do they not step up to it and help you guys?

I guess there is a lack of basic research funding as opposed to Industry funded applied research..and to be depending on the industry means ' dont
rock the boat'..right?
anders59
 
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Re: Where have you been???

Postby Johan » 16 Nov 2010, 14:01

Sweden would certainly need a Dawkins or Carl Sagan of nuclear, a charismatic credible scientist that can explain science in technology in an entertaining way for laymen. I am not sure if such a person exists though. The feeling I get from both academia and industry is that people in the nuclear world has become so tired of the anti nuclear rhetoric that they prefer to stay on the side of the debate and just do their job/research. Everyone is in defensive mode and want to stay under the radar.

It's gone to the point I think where people in nuclear are trying way to hard to appease the anti nuclear crowd. If the greens say "nuclear is dangerous" then the nuclear experts doesn't reply "no it's not dumdum stick to treehugging", instead they say "we will make it safer". The anti side has owned the debate and set the agenda for so long that the pro side seems to be stuck in eternal defense.

Thats where we come into the picture :) Hopefully some baby steps can be made into the right direction and perhaps more people will be encourage to jump on the train and start spreading the good message about nuclear, instead of just digging down into the trenches and defending against ridiculous accusations.
Johan
 
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 14:38

Re: Where have you been???

Postby Michael » 16 Nov 2010, 14:02

anders59 wrote:Thanks Michael..but I do not carry any credibility here. Not 100% up to date with
research in the field..this is all about facts...facts should be argued by those who know them!


Heh don't sell yourself short. Like I said: it's only nuclear power... breaking atoms to boil water. It's really quite simple. :)

What is needed at the moment is basically people - anyone will do - publicly declaring "I think nuclear power is a good idea". Half of all swedes alive today don't even remember a time when that was last said! They think for instance the Centre-party have always been anti-nuclear. Heck, Bondeförbundet was instrumental in starting(!) nuclear in Sweden.

For 30-40 years the anti-nukes have had the stage to themselves. First order of business is to show that there are people in favour of nuclear power to get the debate going again. Once that has been taken care of, the experts will start speaking.

/Michael
Michael
 
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 05:07

Re: Where have you been???

Postby Johan » 16 Nov 2010, 14:04

anders59 wrote:I guess there is a lack of basic research funding as opposed to Industry funded applied research..and to be depending on the industry means ' dont
rock the boat'..right?


Fortunately that is changing a bit, basic research funding is once again starting to appear. But before that the nuclear energy faculties at universities has been pretty much 100% dependent in industry applied research.
Johan
 
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 14:38

Re: Where have you been???

Postby anders59 » 16 Nov 2010, 14:09

OK guys, I have now contacted Ane Hakansson in Uppsala and Anders Nordlund at Chalmers...

Hope they join in here shortly.
anders59
 
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Joined: 16 Nov 2010, 10:41

Re: Where have you been???

Postby Lantzelot » 16 Nov 2010, 14:17

Hello Anders,

It is very nice to hear your comments.
Here are a few thoughts from my horizon within the academia.

At the department of Physics and Astronomy in Uppsala we have professor Ane Håkansson who sometimes engage in debate related to nuclear power, but mostly as a response to anti-nuclear articles in newspapers. The latest example from him and colleague Sophie Grape was in Uppsala Nya Tidning in June, in response to Eva Moberg:
http://www.unt.se/kultur/vi-har-inte-rad-med-karnkraft-978342.aspx
http://www.unt.se/kultur/karnkraften-kan-ge-vardigare-liv-978331.aspx
http://www.unt.se/kultur/karnvapen-kraver-karnkraft-984526.aspx

Professors Sven Kullander and Bo Höistad used to be a bit more active with debate articles in media, Sven is still writing together with colleagues at KVA, for instance they had a response last week to the article in Dagens Nyheter by SNF, LRF and Tällberg foundation.

Janne Wallenius sometimes writes articles for the general public about Generation IV reactors.

But there are no pro-active academics of Richard Dawkins style when it comes to nuclear power. I see mainly two reasons for it:
1: It is usually frowned upon by colleagues is you become too outspoken in media. You are supposed to be happy about doing your research, not expose yourself too much in media. If you're in nanotechnology, stem cell research or astrophysics then it may be fine. But nuclear power, no way. Furthermore, as somebody pointed out above, it is time consuming, and when most researchers already dedicate so much time to their work it is not too many of them that are willing to spend time on the media game. One could motivate it as outreach activities ("tredje uppgiften" in Swedish), but if you want to merit yourself within the academia you'd rather do outreach activities in the form of popular seminars or interaction with elementary schools.
2: Due to the political situation during the last 30 years the industry has not been too excited about media attention when professors who may know a lot but who are not in the field themselves make public statements. I remember about ten year ago when Sven Kullander wrote a few articles. People who worked with research closer to the nuclear industry were concerned about it, it could take a media spin in the wrong direction that would be bad for the industry, and indirectly for those working on research in connection to the nuclear industry. Don't rock the boat, as you say. But it seems to be changing, slowly.

Personally it was easier for me to be part of NPYP while I was working on exotic nuclei, that only exists in super novas, than my present projects that are closer to nuclear power applications. My new bosses and colleagues are amused about my involvement in NPYP and partly support it, but there is concern about media spins that go the wrong way. "Please let us know beforehand if you guys intend to do something big" was the message when I started.
And oppositely, we want to be independent from the nuclear industry, in order to be able to criticize it if/when we find it necessary. I am involved in projects that are in part sponsored by the nuclear industry. Does this mean that I should shut up if we see problems related to nuclear power that we want to bring up for discussion?
Lantzelot
 
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Location: Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan

Re: Where have you been???

Postby johanb » 17 Nov 2010, 23:56

Hi,

Very good article yesterday!
I will support your/our case going forward.

Regards

Johan
johanb
 
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Re: Where have you been???

Postby Michael » 18 Nov 2010, 08:11

johanb wrote:Hi,

Very good article yesterday!
I will support your/our case going forward.

Regards

Johan

Thank you, it's very nice to hear that. :)

/Michael
Michael
 
Posts: 117
Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 05:07

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