April 27: The Great Chernobyl Mystery (Kate Brown, MIT)

April 27 (cosponsored with the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs)
Kate Brown (MIT)
“The Great Chernobyl Mystery: How Ignorance became Policy and Politics”

U.N. websites say that 33 people died from the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe and 6,000 children got cancer. Is that the extent of the damage? Working through newly disclosed Soviet health archives, historian Kate Brown discovered that Soviet doctors reported a public health disaster in the Chernobyl-contaminated territories in the late 1980s. The archives shows a death toll of not 35, but 35,000 and tens of thousands hospitalized after the disaster. What happened to this story? Brown explores international archives to show how evidence of widespread health problems from Chernobyl exposures disappeared from the scientific consensus.

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