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Marie Ghis Malfilatre, visiting postdoctoral scholar at CISAC from INSERM (IRIS-GISOP 84), Paris, sponsored by the France-Stanford program.

Thu March 5th 2020, All day
History Bldg 200 Room 202

From Occupational Health to Nuclear Safety: A study of the Ongoing Controversy Surrounding Subcontracting and Precarity at Work in the French Nuclear Industry

Abstract: This talk examines processes of normalization around radioactivity hazards from the perspective of labor organizations in nuclear facilities. Initially, risks of occupational exposure to radioactivity gave rise to a series of alerts and mobilizations in the first half of the 20th century – particularly in France and the United States. Yet, how can we explain that those issues remained outside public spaces after WWII, even though the number of nuclear workers increased considerably? In that regard, I focus on how the organization of work in nuclear facilities has contributed to the normalization of nuclear risks through a two-fold process. First, by dividing work collectives and secondly, by delegating the most dangerous activities to workers with a precarious employment status. While outsourcing for companies is generally a management tool that increases labor productivity, it is also a technopolitical tool that attempts to manage occupational risks and making them socially invisible. Lastly, I will explore how workers and some of their representatives have considered this issue in two of the main French nuclear facilities.

Please visit the Green library exhibit entitled, Leonardo's library: The World of a Renaissance Reader which celebrated the 500th anniversary on May 2, 1519 of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci with a opening reception of over 300 guest in the library rotunda, complete with dance, music and book art and art performance. The exhibit will be on display in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda - held over - until December 13, 2019. See the article on the exhibit in the Palo Alto newspaper online, May 29, 2019.