Laura Harkewicz publishes “Ghost of the Bomb: The Bravo Medical Program and the Problem of Scientific Uncertainty”

Laura Harkewicz

IAS faculty member Laura Harkewicz published “Ghost of the Bomb: The Bravo Medical Program and the Problem of Scientific Uncertainty" in the web magazine, Primer Stories.  Primer Stories integrates text, illustrations, animation, photos, and sound to present “complex ideas, beautifully explained.”  The article is a snapshot of a larger project in which Harkewicz explores how the science produced by the “Bravo Medical Program,” which was created in response to the fallout exposure of over 200 Marshall Islanders from the 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test, was used by a variety of actors.  The Program lasted for over 40 years.  Over time, with changes in society and scientific knowledge, questions about the credibility of the science produced by doctor/researchers created controversy. Meanwhile, the links between radiation exposure, health effects, and public policy remain uncertain to this day.  This article demonstrates that scientific uncertainty can exacerbate disputes that it is employed to resolve.

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