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Foundations of Environmental Sciences I

Profs T. Hashimoto, T. Okamoto, K. Ishihara and Y. Hirono


History, Philosophy and Sociology of Environmental Risk Studies


     The governance and regulation of environmental risks is critical issue for both developing and developed nations. However management of environmental problems, but especially international ones, is very difficult, partly because of clash of interests among actors. The students who have will to make effective environmental policies should enhance insight into complex 'world system' and have fundamental perspectives. This lecture aims to help students to cultivate a broad and sound view of environmental thoughts historically and philosophically, based on experiential grounds of KOGAI (pollution problems such as Minamata disease [Hunter-Russell syndrome]) and the Great East Japan Earthquake.


      Professors Hashimoto and Okamoto provide lectures on the history of science and technology, and Professors Ishihara and Hirono do on the philosophy and sociology of environmental risks. The lectures will touch on the following topics: (1) history of energy exploitation, (2) that of electric power industry, (3) nuclear development during and after World War II, (4) environmental issues in the postwar era, (5) introduction and critics of some case studies of risk analyses and policies, and (6) the development of safety standards in various technological systems in Japan.


history of engineering

history of energy

environmental pollution

electric power industry

nuclear development

ethics of risk analysis

'How safe is safe enough? ' problem

safety standards


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