This project will address a general problem in the relationship between technical research communities and wider society: how do notions of a ‘duty of care’, and related societal imperatives, figure in the everyday practices of scientific knowledge production?
The focus of this proposed sociological analysis of technical communities is the radiation protection field. The radiation protection (RP) community has a responsibility to set limits on ionising radiation exposure for workers and citizens and to generate the guidance on how to respond to specific radiological circumstances e.g. how far to evacuate citizens in an emergency situation. My intention is to explore a range of technical research and policy sites to trace the generation, translation and use (e.g. standards making) of RP knowledge. In this way, the project will make visible the work of the unseen scientific communities that generate knowledge on the invisible radiological realm.