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CSS Studenterkollokvium: Anders Hørning Ridder

Framing of nuclear technology

2020.08.23 | Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen

Date Wed 02 Sep
Time 14:15 15:00
Location https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/61020118830


In the past century, nuclear technologies have been a controversial topic for a seemingly simple reason: nuclear power plants can produce clean, cheap electricity and heat for anyone, but nuclear bombs can readily lay waste to the entire globe. This duality makes up a large part of nuclear power's fate, especially in Denmark, as these two use cases are often tightly connected in the minds of the general population. However, in recent decades, the nuclear debate has been rising significance alongside an increase in climate change awareness. Despite newfound relevance, nuclear power is frequently framed as an old technology along with the issues prevalent in the mid-1900s, where its usefulness drowns in the arguments contra. In this presentation, I will delve into how nuclear power has been framed in the past and comparing it to the most recent framings. More specifically, how has the framing evolved alongside its political and technological advancements. Technological advancements include a substantial improvement in security measurements, and political discourses have turned towards a focus on halting negative climate change, instead of focusing on technological progress, a discourse most popular in the nascent decades of nuclear power plants. Based on the use of Gamson and Lasch's (1980) interpretive packages that Gamson and Modigliani utilized in their 1989 study on the framing of nuclear power, I will apply similar methods to contemporary framings.

Student colloquium