Investigating the degree of "stigma" associated with nuclear energy technologies: A cross-cultural examination of the case of fusion power

Tom Horlick-Jones, Ana Prades, Josep Espluga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The extent to which nuclear energy technologies are, in some sense, "stigmatised" by historical environmental and military associations is of particular interest in contemporary debates about sustainable energy policy. Recent claims in the literature suggest that despite such stigmatisation, lay views on such technologies may be shifting towards a "reluctant acceptance," in the light of concerns about issues like anthropogenic climate change. In this paper, we report on research into learning and reasoning processes concerned with a largely unknown nuclear energy technology; namely fusion power. We focus on the role of the nuclear label, or "brand," in informing how lay citizens make sense of the nature of this technology. Our findings derive from a comparative analysis of data generated in Spain and Britain, using the same methodology. © The Author(s) 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-533
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • energy policy
  • lay expertise
  • practical reasoning
  • public understanding of science
  • risk perception
  • science and popular culture

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