The Chernobyl Meltdown

Powerful Essays
The Chernobyl meltdown was one the biggest meltdowns of the decade, the implications of Chernobyl didn’t just resonate in Russia, but the uranium contamination was found all across Europe. Sheep farmers from North Cumbria were affected by the radiation contamination. After the contamination, scientists came to help the farmers who were affected. Our presentation on the article also discussed the broader implications for the public understanding of science and how the deficit model failed in the article. The deficit model was used to discuss the problems with science and the lay people. The public’s negative attitude towards science is because of their ignorance towards it and the remedy was to dumb down the information to the lay people. This article discusses how both science and the lay people were misunderstanding each other. This was through miscommunication and standard view of the public understanding of science which lead to people to initially trust everything the scientists would say.
Now that we understand the deficit model, we can now discuss how the deficit model was used on the sheep farmers and how the misunderstanding by both sides contributed to a larger distrust of the scientific community. Sheep farmers in Lake District suffered quite a huge loss due to sanctions of their sheep in the Lake District of northern England. The sanctions were placed in effect after the 1986 Chernobyl. Cesium 137 and 134 were found in sheep across and in the soil across Cumbria. A ban was quickly created after they had assured farmers that it would only last for a couple weeks. This advice was given by the scientific community who had tested the soil in the lowlands of England and believed that the cesium would be eliminated in a s...

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...t inaccurately assumed that the acidity of soil in low land Cumbria compared to highland Cumbria was different.
This article shows the major flaw in the deficit theory due the fact scientists assumed the farmers did not know anything. This assumption led to the scientists not accepting any help or information by the farmers. In doing so, lead to public anger in Cumbria and a distrust in the scientific community. Furthermore, the inability to discuss the information on both sides lead to information being misinterpreted or discredited by both sides. Especially in the area of hiding information on the dangers of the Windscale nuclear plant. The government’s involvement in choosing to withhold information because they believed that the lay people would then assumed everything was good, which in fact they didn’t, caused an even bigger uproar when people finally found.
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