22.02.2024 | 16:00 – 18:00

ETROD: "Undergrounds of Disposal. Sociogeological Processes in Nuclear Waste Management"

Christiane Schürkmann


Referring to the case of nuclear waste management the presentation asks how societies relate to their undergrounds in order to develop permanent repositories to store their produced toxic objects. In this way, undergrounds are addressed as ‘bedrocks of hope’ by scientists, politicians, and the public with regard to their potential of isolating radionuclides in the long run. Based on a perspective located at the interface between Environmental Sociology and Science and Technology Studies the presentation suggests to investigate sociogeological relations in the context of such long-term projects in their processuality.

Christiane Schürkmann is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University Mainz. She investigates the role of nature in projects of nuclear waste management for high-level radioactive waste. Her research especially focuses on the collaboration between societies and bedrocks and geological formations, respectively. Her research interests are located within environmental sociology, sociology of knowledge and Science and Technology Studies. She works with theories of materiality, posthuman theories, and approaches of the sociology of scientific knowledge. Methodically she integrates ethnography, document analysis and interviews. Her expertise for the network consists in the integration of posthuman theories, qualitative methods, and a study of disposing of nuclear waste.