Photo of NRC Commissioners at Senate Hearing last Wednesday

 
NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki (left), with her colleagues, left to right, Commissioners Jeff Baran, Annie Caputo and David Wright, testify about the agency budget, ongoing activities and new initiatives before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.


 


Penny Bassett takes a radiation level reading at the former Anaconda copper mine near Yerington, Nev., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004. Citing growing concerns about health and safety, state regulators asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004, to assume lead oversight of cleaning up radioactive and other toxic waste at the abandoned copper mine in northern Nevada.(AP Photo/Debra Reid) 

Penny Bassett takes a radiation level reading at the former Anaconda copper mine near Yerington, Nev., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004. Citing growing concerns about health and safety, state regulators asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004, to assume lead oversight of cleaning up radioactive and other toxic waste at the abandoned copper mine in northern Nevada.(AP Photo/Debra Reid) 

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Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Integrated Inspection Report 05000277/2019004 and 05000278/2019004

ADAMS Accession No.  ML20043C878

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2 - Acceptance of Requested Licensing Action Re: Exemption Request from 10 CFR 140.11(a)(4) Primary and Secondary Liability Insurance Requirements (EPID L-2020-LLE-0002)

ADAMS Accession No. ML20042D454

DEP Newsroom
 
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ethics and Environmental Health | Mini-Monograph
 
Objectivity and Ethics in Environmental Health Science
Steve Wing
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
 
During the past several decades, philosophers of science and scientists themselves have become
increasingly aware of the complex ways in which scientific knowledge is shaped by its social con-
text. This awareness has called into question traditional notions of objectivity. Working scientists 
need an understanding of their own practice that avoids the naïve myth that science can become
objective by avoiding social influences as well as the reductionist view that its content is determined
simply by economic interests. A nuanced perspective on this process can improve research ethics
and increase the capacity of science to contribute to equitable public policy, especially in areas such
as environmental and occupational health, which have direct implications for profits, regulation,
legal responsibility, and social justice. I discuss research into health effects of the 1979 accident at
Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, as an example of how scientific explana-
tions are shaped by social concepts, norms, and preconceptions. I describe how a scientific practice
that developed under the influence of medical and nuclear physics interacted with observations
made by exposed community members to affect research questions, the interpretation of evidence,
inferences about biological mechanisms in disease causation, and the use of evidence in litigation.
By considering the history and philosophy of their disciplines, practicing researchers can increase
the rigor, objectivity, and social responsibility of environmental health science. Keywords: cancer,
chance, dose reconstruction, environmental justice, epidemiology, ionizing radiation, research
ethics, significance testing, Three Mile Island. Environ Health Perspect 111:1809–1818 (2003).
doi:10.1289/ehp.6200 available via http://dx.doi.org/ [Online 19 June 2003]
 
Cancer Incidence in the Vicinity of the Site of
a Former Nuclear Facility Located in Apollo, Pennsylvania
 
A report by:
 
Steve Wing
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill