Trust—what Connects Science to Daily Life

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Seven years have passed since the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011. The actions taken by the Japanese government, such as issuing evacuation orders and setting decontamination and food safety standards, created huge confusion in society that led to a breakdown of trust. The residents of Suetsugi, a small village located about 30 km south of the plant, sought to understand and overcome the effects of radiation by measuring contamination and personal dose, etc. In my work through Ethos in Fukushima (a nonprofit organization in Iwaki, Fukushima), I learned that trust—not just measuring radiation or acquiring more scientific knowledge—has been the critical factor for them to regain a sense of order in their lives. The level of radiation has decreased since 2011; however, the community still struggles with rebuilding the community.

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