Food safety after Fukushima: Scientific Citizenship and the Politics of Risk

Thursday, September 7, 2017 (12:00 PM – 1:30 PM)
Tower Center Board Room, Room 227, Carr Collins Hall (map)


On March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake precipitating a deadly tsunami and the ensuing accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was characterized by mistrust of the Japanese state and its ability to guarantee the safety of the food supply for the general population. As a result, a number of citizens—some of whom had little prior experience in civil society—formed organizations, exchanged knowledge, and found ways of screening and sourcing food that met stricter standards than the state required.

Join us for lunch Sept. 7 as Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna examines the processes by which notions about what is safe to eat were formulated after the nuclear meltdown and how risk was framed under uncertain circumstances.


Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, SMU
Sternsdorff-Cisterna is an anthropologist who specializes in the study of food, the environment, risk, the senses, and political economy. His research has appeared in the journal American Anthropologist, and a book manuscript about food safety and the Fukushima nuclear accident is under contract with the University of Hawaii Press.


The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

RegisterIf you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact us at tower@smu.edu.


Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program

The Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program aims to increase awareness of the economic, historical, political, and social trends of Japan and East Asia that affect the future of China, Japan, Korea, East Asia, and the world, including the United States.  Through the Sun & Star Symposia and lecture series featuring scholars, practitioners, journalists, and government officials, students and other participants learn about the challenges and opportunities in each country’s domestic politics and economics, the region’s relationship with the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, and the international relations of the globalized world.

Click here to visit the Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program webpage.

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