Australian news, and some related international items

Politics – what hope for civil society? theme for November 20 

AS I write the tortuous American election  process is going on. The USA used to be a world leader .   This is a gripping example of 2 different ways to run the political process. With Trump – dictatorial ruthlessness – heading to fascism, with Biden, restraint, respect for the rule of law, and a co-operative effort.

2020 has seen the continuing dictators, like  Xi Jinping, Putin, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bolsonaro, Bashar Al-Assad – , and also the drift to  dictatorship in democratic countries, e.g India.  As the world is faced with huge problems, many people seem to turn to uninformed, anti-science populist leaders – especially in English- language countries –  USA, Britain, Australia.

So –  the American election circus goes on: it is something of a test case for the world.  To deal with global heating, nuclear dangers, and the pandemic, we need people of intelligence, respect for science, and the ability to co-operate.

Fortunately there are many thousands of people with all kinds of valuable skills , working on the global problems.  Far too many great organisations to name here, and a lot of them under the wing of the United Nations.

The achievements can be seen, and continue to evolve, First and foremost , there’s the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, It matters, whatever the bosses of the ‘nuclear nations’ say.  There’s the global work towards the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.   But, however good the work of these agencies, it can succeed only with the participation and support of millions of people

The media has a huge role to play in explaining and promoting this. But will they?

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam uranium mine’s unlimited water access is killing the Arabana people’s mound springs

South Australia’s disappearing springs raise questions for miner BHP–

Few in big cities know about the ‘mound springs’, but they are of deep cultural significance for the Arabana people who hold native title over Lake Eyre and its surrounds.By Richard Baker November 23, 2020

Dotted around the vast arid harshness of outback South Australia are thousands of small springs fed by ancient waters from the Great Artesian Basin.

Few in big cities know about the “mound springs”, but they are of deep cultural significance for the Arabana people who hold native title over Lake Eyre and its surrounds. They are also a precious source of life for humans, animals and plants in a hostile environment.

A mound spring near the shore of Lake Eyre in South Australia.

But the Arabana people fear the extraction of tens of millions of litres of water from the basin each day by mining, petroleum and pastoral industries threatens the existence of the springs by reducing flow pressure in the aquifer to the extent that the springs dry up.

The federal parliamentary inquiry into Rio Tinto’s destruction in May of 46,000-year-old rock shelters at the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia has given the Arabana people the chance to put the fate of the springs on the national agenda.

“In our country there are over 6000 of these springs and they are of great significance to the Arabana people,” said the chair of the Arabana registered native title body, Brenda Underwood, in a submission to the inquiry.

“The springs themselves can be as small as a cup or large enough that you could swim in them, however, we don’t because of the stories associated with them. To us, and to many Australians, they are a beautiful sight in a harsh environment.

“Unfortunately, our springs are disappearing. How many have disappeared, we are not yet sure, but we are undertaking some research to find out just how many have actually disappeared.”

Rio Tinto’s blasting at Juukan Gorge drew widespread public criticism, prompted the resignation of its chief executive and put a spotlight on state and federal laws that are meant to balance the protection of Indigenous heritage against the commercial interests of miners.

In the case of the springs, another mining giant, BHP, is playing a central role. BHP is licensed by the South Australian government to extract the equivalent of up to 42 million litres of water per day from the Great Artesian Basin to operate the massive Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine near Roxby Downs.

Millions of litres of water are also taken from the basin each day by pastoral stations and various petroleum companies, and more is lost through evaporation from thousands of disused bores that have not been properly capped.

RMIT environmental engineering expert Gavid Mudd has studied the mound springs closely for more than 20 years and said there was no doubt the extraction of so much groundwater had contributed to a reduction in flow pressure. Some had dried up entirely.

Although the Arabana submission to the inquiry acknowledges water users such as pastoralists and petroleum companies, it largely focuses on BHP’s water use and the unique South Australian laws that grant it a virtually unchallenged right to groundwater.

Under the 1982 Roxby Downs Indenture Act, the original Olympic Dam owner Western Mining and present owner BHP are afforded special privileges that trump Aboriginal heritage laws and almost all other state laws and regulations.

“Each day they [BHP] take 35 million litres of water from our springs and the Great Artesian Basin and now they wish to increase that amount to 42 million litres per day,” Ms Underwood’s statement said

“We are told that this will continue for at least the next 60 years. Given the number of springs that have disappeared, in 60 years we have a great fear that there will be none left whatsoever. The Arabana people have tasked me and the board of directors of the corporation to protect the springs. The big question is how?”

Ms Underwood and the 1000-strong Arabana community fear the South Australian government will be reluctant to change the status quo for BHP.

The mining company’s recent announcement to pause a planned $3 billion expansion of Olympic Dam is likely to see its water take remain about the mid 30 million litres per day mark.

The Arabana people have asked their Adelaide lawyer, Stephen Kenny, to advise them if the Commonwealth can get involved. Mr Kenny has said the Commonwealth could act to protect the springs, but previous cases such as that involving South Australia’s Hindmarsh Island suggested it would not.




November 23, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

to 23 November – the week in nuclear news, Australia and more

As I decided previously, I’m leaving out the news on Coronavirus and Global Heating,  important though they are.

Even so, this newsletter is too long. Especially as we seem to be in a sort of timewarp, waiting for a resolution in the USA, waiting for a new direction in the pandemic.

Some bits of good news – Future Crunch’s summary of good news.  Jeff Bezos Created $10 Billion ‘Earth Fund’ to Meet Climate Crisis, First Grants of $800M Go to Iconic Environmental Groups


What next as the Senate rejects the mandatory selection of Napandee as nuclear waste dump?  Exposing the deceptions of Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, on the failed nuclear waste dump plan.  Exposing the deceptions of Samantha Chard General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Agency.

Can a new mine save BHP’s loss-making Olympic Dam? .

Corporate vested interests win as Australian Government weakens Environmental Laws.  Australian government is rushing to weaken Environmental Laws.

Australia’s Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE.


Correcting 5 wrong opinions about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Nuclear power hinders fight against climate change.

Standard nuclear reactor designs are still too costly, and safety features are only a third of nuclear costs.

Solar energy is bullish in the market; the same can’t be said for nuclear.

The creeping carbon costs of digital communication.

Book review: The Case for Degrowth.

Extradition hearing of Julian Assange – defence witnesses destroy myths, demonstrate his integrity

November 23, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Exposing the deceptions of Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, on the failed nuclear waste dump plan

Peter Remta, 23 Nov 20, With some reluctance and an apology I really must now enter the fray because of the misleading and disingenuous statements on behalf of the government regarding the choice of Kimba for the government’s nuclear waste facility

on Keith Pitt, Minister  forResources

Pitt keeps claiming that Kimba is “marginal” and “low value” land and hence the ideal site for the nuclear waste facility yet it is regarded as one of the prime and best agricultural areas in this country with an international reputation as to the wheat crop from that region

He is arguing against strong opinion and advice from  many agricultural experts and economists

His next claim is that Kimba is the ideal and most suitable location for the facility which is completely at odds from the knowledgeable opinions and advice by international experts in nuclear waste management

In justifying the storage of intermediate level waste at Kimba Pitt claims that it will take many years and huge expense to find and develop a suitable permanent disposal facility for that waste

This is completely false as the Leonora site for an underground nuclear waste repository has been described by one of the leading and largest nuclear waste engineering consultants asglobally an outstanding location for the proposed underground repository

This view is shared by many other overseas experts who cannot understand Australia’s proposals for the above program facility at Kimba

Added to this the Leonora site can be brought to operational standards in line with all international safety requirements and prescriptions for less than $50 million compared to the government estimate of up to $350 million for the inadequate facility at Kimba

This is shown by the concept planning and designs already undertaken for  the repository at Leonora which are far more advanced than the government’s proposals for Kimba


November 23, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Exposing the deceptions of Samantha Chard General Manager of the National Radioactive Waste Agency

Peter Remta, 23 Nov 20, As I have mentioned previously this is not the first time that Chard has been untruthful as was established through the questioning of Senator Patrick in the recent Senate enquiry into the legislative changes for the Kimba proposal

At the estimates hearing on 22 February 2019 Chard interrupted her then responsible Minister to claim that the community development package of $30 million (her figure) including a community fund component of $20 million had always been contemplated when the initial enabling legislation was passed in 2012

However members of the committee advising the government on the implementation of the enabling legislation spanning several years in time claim that there was never any mention or even an oblique reference to anything in the way of a community fund as claimed  by Chard

There was nothing in the various information released by the government  including the official nomination guidelines regarding the community fund until its first mention on 12 December 2018

Moreover to have not remembered 580 documents on such an important issue of national significance as judicial review regarding this situation is completely unacceptable

If this is the best that our country can offer by way of ministerial and administrative capability on such an important issue then what hope do we have for the future

The situation was only exacerbated by the incompetent and unsatisfactory performance of the ANSTO management personnel at last month’s estimate hearing

To qualify myself I probably know more about nuclear waste in a global sense than anyone in Australia and it was through my efforts that the ANSTO personnel faced some of the uncomfortable questions at the estimates hearing last month

November 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

Joe Biden’s ” transition team” contains men with strong links to the weapons industry

A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War,  Reader Supported News, By Cassandra Stimpson and Holly Zhang, TomDispatch, 20 November 20    Yes, tensions are still rising between the world’s greatest emitter of greenhouse gases, historically speaking, and the country emitting the most at this very moment — not that the emerging cold war between the United States and China is often thought of in that context. Still, in the Trump era, now ending so ingloriously, the U.S. moved ever closer to just such a new cold war, as the president got ever angrier at China and the “plague” it had “unleashed on to the world,” his secretary of state denounced its policies, and U.S. aircraft carriers began repeatedly making their way into the disputed South China Sea.

As trade wars loomed and The Donald boomed, the Pentagon also began issuing documents deemphasizing the “forever wars” it had been involved in for nearly two decades and emphasizing instead the dangers of China (and Russia). Now, this country is preparing, however chaotically, to enter the Biden years, even if that other old man is still bitterly camped out in the White House. President Trump, who was perfectly ready to set the planet on fire (more or less literally), is nearly gone and you might think that the globe’s two largest carbon emitters would be ready to consider some kind of accommodation or even coordination to stop this world from going down in intensifying storms, rising sea levels, raging wild fires, and… well, you know the story.

Unfortunately, that would be logic, not interests — and the interests couldn’t be more real or, as Cassandra Stimpson and Holly Zhang of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative (FITI) at the Center for International Policy suggest today, more grimly lined up to promote that very cold war.

Only recently, for instance, we’ve had a look at Joe Biden’s 23-person “transition team” for the Pentagon, most of whom come from the hawkish think tanks that are so much a part of official Washington and eight of whom, as In These Times has reported, “list their ‘most recent employment’ as organizations, think tanks, or companies that either directly receive money from the weapons industry, or are part of this industry,” including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed in today’s TomDispatch post. And so it goes, sadly enough, in Washington whoever the president may be.

-Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch

November 22, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Forests affected by Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Forestry was once a thriving industry in Fukushima – until the 2011 nuclear disaster struck. More than 70 percent of the prefecture is covered with trees, but large areas have been abandoned or neglected. “It’s regrettable. I didn’t even imagine things were so bad,” says forester Akimoto Kimio, who visited a plantation […]

Forests affected by Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No radioactive water dump! — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 From GENSUIKIN The Japanese government appears ready to dispose of radioactive water contaminated by tritium and other radioactive materials from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. GENSUIKIN is asking for your support to prevent this reckless attempt by the government. Please see the end of the article […]

No radioactive water dump! — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taiwanese protest plan to dump water from Japan nuclear plant into sea — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 19, 2020 Taipei, Nov. 19 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese staged a protest in Taipei on Thursday against a plan by the Japanese government to release more than a million tonnes of water into the ocean from the disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant, starting in 2022. At the rally in front of the Ministry […]

Taiwanese protest plan to dump water from Japan nuclear plant into sea — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Release of Fukushima’s radioactive water into sea will harm entire Asia’s coasts: Indian experts — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 18, 2020 The contaminants of the massive quantities of nuclear water will include radioactive isotopes such as cesium, tritium, cobalt and carbon-12 and may take from 12 to 30 years to decay. Japan’s decision to release radioactive contaminated water from its wrecked nuclear plant in Fukushima into the sea by 2022 has led to […]

Release of Fukushima’s radioactive water into sea will harm entire Asia’s coasts: Indian experts — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Resident against Japanese nuclear reactor OK’d for restart says safe evacuation impossible — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Former fisherman Yukitoshi Watanabe maintains that resuming operation of Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant would be dangerous. In the Yoriisohama district of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, as seen in this photo taken on Oct. 21, 2020, many signs protesting nuclear power have been set up by groups comprising youth in the community. November […]

Resident against Japanese nuclear reactor OK’d for restart says safe evacuation impossible — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Tipping point”: Queensland zinc refinery commits to 100 pct renewables — RenewEconomy

Queensland zinc refinery Sun Metals commits to 100 per cent renewables, and will reach 80 per cent by 2030 in what is considered a turning point for Australia. The post “Tipping point”: Queensland zinc refinery commits to 100 pct renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Tipping point”: Queensland zinc refinery commits to 100 pct renewables — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Climate Change Could Lead To Landslide-triggered Tsunami In Alaska: Scientists” • Whittier, Alaska, has still not forgotten the tsunami of 1964, which killed 13 people and did $10 million in damages. But another tsunami threat looms large on the city with climate change, as Barry glacier could fall into the ocean […]

November 22 Energy News — geoharvey

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Influence of weapons makers on U.S. policy, whether a Democrat or Republican administration

A Washington Echo Chamber for a New Cold War,  Reader Supported News, By Cassandra Stimpson and Holly Zhang, TomDispatch, 20 November 20

ar: what is it good for? Apparently, in Washington’s world of think tanks, the answer is: the bottom line.

In fact, as the Biden presidency approaches, an era of great-power competition between the United States and China is already taken for granted inside the Washington Beltway. Much less well known are the financial incentives that lurk behind so many of the voices clamoring for an ever-more-militarized response to China in the Pacific. We’re talking about groups that carefully avoid the problems such an approach will provoke when it comes to the real security of the United States or the planet. A new cold war is likely to be dangerous and costly in an America gripped by a pandemic, its infrastructure weakened, and so many of its citizens in dire economic straits. Still, for foreign lobbyists, Pentagon contractors, and Washington’s many influential think tanks, a “rising China” means only one thing: rising profits.

Defense contractors and foreign governments are spending millions of dollars annually funding establishment think tanks (sometimes in secret) in ways that will help set the foreign-policy agenda in the Biden years. In doing so, they gain a distinctly unfair advantage when it comes to influencing that policy, especially which future tools of war this country should invest in and how it should use them.

Not surprisingly, many of the top think-tank recipients of foreign funding are also top recipients of funding from this country’s major weapons makers. The result: an ecosystem in which those giant outfits and some of the countries that will use their weaponry now play major roles in bankrolling the creation of the very rationales for those future sales. It’s a remarkably closed system that works like a dream if you happen to be a giant weapons firm or a major think tank. Right now, that system is helping accelerate the further militarization of the whole Indo-Pacific region.

In the Pacific, Japan finds itself facing an increasingly tough set of choices when it comes to its most significant military alliance (with the United States) and its most important economic partnership (with China). A growing U.S. presence in the region aimed at counterbalancing China will allow Japan to remain officially neutral, even as it reaps the benefits of both partnerships.

To walk that tightrope (along with the defense contractors that will benefit financially from the further militarization of the region), Japan spends heavily to influence thinking in Washington. Recent reports from the Center for International Policy’s Foreign Influence Initiative (FITI), where the authors of this piece work, reveal just how countries like Japan and giant arms firms like Lockheed Martin and Boeing functionally purchase an inside track on a think-tank market that’s hard at work creating future foreign-policy options for this country’s elite.

How to Make a Think Tank Think

Take the prominent think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which houses programs focused on the “China threat” and East Asian “security.” Its Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, which gets funding from the governments of Japan and the Philippines, welcomes contributions “from all governments in Asia, as well as corporate and foundation support.”

Unsurprisingly, the program also paints a picture of Japan as central “to preserving the liberal international order” in the face of the dangers of an “increasingly assertive China.” It also highlights that country’s role as Washington’s maritime security partner in the region. There’s no question that Japan is indeed an important ally of Washington. Still, positioning its government as a lynchpin in the international peace (or war) process seems a dubious proposition at best.

CSIS is anything but alone when it comes to the moneyed interests pushing Washington to invest ever more in what now passes for “security” in the Pacific region. A FITI report on Japanese operations in the U.S., for instance, reveals at least 3,209 lobbying activities in 2019 alone, as various lobbyists hired by that country and registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act targeted both Congress and think tanks like CSIS on behalf of the Japanese government. Such firms, in fact, raked in more than $30 million from that government last year alone. From 2014 to 2019, Japan was also the largest East Asian donor to the top 50 most influential U.S. think tanks. The results of such investments have been obvious when it comes to both the products of those think tanks and congressional policies.

Think-tank recipients of Japanese funding are numerous and, because that country is such a staunch ally of Washington, its government can be more open about its activities than is typicalProjects like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s “China Risk and China Opportunity for the U.S.-Japan Alliance,” funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are now the norm inside the Beltway. You won’t be surprised to learn that the think-tank scholars working on such projects almost inevitably end up highlighting Japan’s integral role in countering “the China threat” in the influential studies they produce. That threat itself, of course, is rarely questioned. Instead, its dangers and the need to confront them are invariably reinforced.

Another Carnegie Endowment study, “Bolstering the Alliance Amid China’s Military Resurgence,” is typical in that regard. It’s filled with warnings about China’s growing military power — never mind that, in 2019, the United States spent nearly triple what China did on its military, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Like so many similarly funded projects inside the Beltway, this one recommended further growth in military cooperation between the U.S. and Japan. Important as well, it claimed, was developing “the capability to wage combined multidomain joint operations” which “would require accelerating operational response times to enhance firepower.”

The Carnegie project lists its funding and, as it turns out, that foundation has taken in at least $825,000 from Japan and approximately the same amount from defense contractors and U.S. government sources over the past six years. And Carnegie’s recommendations recently came to fruition when the Trump administration announced the second-largest sale of U.S. weaponry to Japan, worth more than $23 billion worth.

If the Japanese government has a stake in funding such think tanks to get what it wants, so does the defense industry. The top 50 think tanks have received more than $1 billion from the U.S. government and defense contractors over those same six years. Such contractors alone lobby Congress to the tune of more than $20 million each election cycle. Combine such sums with Japanese funding (not to speak of the money spent by other governments that desire policy influence in Washington) and you have a confluence of interests that propels U.S. military expenditures and the sale of weapons globally on a mind-boggling scale.

A Defense Build-Up Is the Order of the Day

An April 2020 report on the “Future of US-Japan Defense Collaboration” by the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security offers a typical example of how such pro-militarization interests are promoted. That report, produced in partnership with the Japanese embassy, begins with the premise that “the United States and Japan must accelerate and intensify their long-standing military and defense-focused coordination and collaboration.”

Specifically, it urges the United States to “take measures to incentivize Japan to work with Lockheed Martin on the F-2 replacement program,” known as the F-3. (The F-2 Support Fighter is the jet Lockheed developed and produced in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japanese Defense Forces.) While the report does acknowledge its partnership with the embassy of Japan, it fails to acknowledge that Lockheed donated three quarters of a million dollars to the influential Atlantic Council between 2014 and 2019 and that Japan generally prefers to produce its own military equipment domestically.

The Atlantic Council report continues to recommend the F-3 as the proper replacement for the F-2, “despite political challenges, technology-transfer concerns,” and “frustration from all parties” involved. This recommendation comes at a time when Japan has increasingly sought to develop its own defense industry. Generally speaking, no matter the Japanese embassy’s support for the Atlantic Council, that country’s military is eager to develop a new stealth fighter of its own without the help of either Lockheed Martin or Boeing. While both companies wish to stay involved in the behemoth project, the Atlantic Council specifically advocates only for Lockheed, which just happens to have contributed more than three times what Boeing did to that think tank’s coffers.

2019 report by the Hudson Institute on the Japan-U.S. alliance echoed similar sentiments, outlining a security context in which Japan and the United States should focus continually on deterring “aggression by China.” To do so, the report suggested, American-made ground-launched missiles (GCLMs) were one of several potential weapons Japan would need in order to prepare a robust “defense” strategy against China. Notably, the first American GCLM test since the United States withdrew from the Cold War era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019 used a Lockheed Martin Mark 41 Launch System and Raytheon’s Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile. The Hudson Institute had not only received at least $270,000 from Japan between 2014 and 2018, but also a minimum of $100,000 from Lockheed Martin.

In 2020, CSIS organized an unofficial working group for industry professionals and government officials that it called the CSIS Alliance Interoperability Series to discuss the development of the future F-3 fighter jet. While Japanese and American defense contractors fight for the revenue that will come from its production, the think tank claims that American, Japanese, and Australian industry representatives and officials will “consider the political-military and technical issues that the F-3 debate raises.” Such working groups are far from rare and offer think tanks incredible access to key decision-makers who often happen to be their benefactors as well.

All told, between 2014 and 2019, CSIS received at least $5 million from the U.S. government and Pentagon contractors, including at least $400,000 from Lockheed Martin and more than $200,000 from Boeing. In this fashion, a privileged think-tank elite has cajoled its way into the inner circles of policy formation (and it matters little whether we’re talking about the Trump administration or the future Biden one). Think about it for a moment: possibly the most crucial relationship on the planet between what looks like a rising and a falling great power (in a world that desperately needs their cooperation) is being significantly influenced by experts and officials invested in the industry guaranteed to militarize that very relationship and create a twenty-first-century version of the Cold War.

Any administration, in other words, lives in something like an echo chamber that continually affirms the need for a yet greater defense build-up led by those who would gain most from it.

November 22, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Research on the intergenerational impacts of Maralinga nuclear tests

Research on the intergenerational impacts of Maralinga nuclear tests supported by Moran Award

November 20, 2020  November 20, 2020

Henrietta Byrne from the University of Adelaide. Photo: suppliedHenrietta Byrne from the University of Adelaide is the recipient of the Academy’s 2021 Moran Award for History of Science Research.
She receives the award for her proposal entitled ‘Legacies of exposure: Tracing scientific and Indigenous understandings of exposures from the Maralinga atomic testing (1956–84)’.

Ms Byrne will explore how Australian science has responded to the question of intergenerational impacts of environmental exposures on bodies over time, focused around the British atomic testing conducted in Maralinga, South Australia between 1956 and 1968.

The National Archives of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies library, as well as interviews with leading anthropologists, will inform her research.

Her work will not only provide an important examination of scientific understandings of environmental exposure, but will also focus explicitly on the Indigenous aspects of this history.

Ms Byrne said that the award will allow her to study the relationships between Indigenous knowledges, settler colonial histories and science and technology studies.

“I’m honoured to have the support of the Australian Academy of Science to undertake this study. It is a great opportunity to engage with the archives in a way that highlights the experiences and ongoing activism of Aboriginal people whose land was exposed to radiation.”

This research is part of her broader PhD project in Anthropology and Gender Studies on environmental exposures and epigenetics in Indigenous Australian contexts.

The Moran Award for History of Science Research is worth up to $5000, and is aimed at postgraduate students and other researchers with expertise in the history of Australian science. Applications for the 2022 award will open in early 2021.

November 21, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment