Nuclear Communication Campaign in Spain: Basic Nuclear Fusion Course

[+] Author and Article Information
Kevin Fernández-Cosials

ETSII, Energy Engineering Department,
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid,
Jose Gutierrez Abascal 2,
Madrid 28006, Spain
e-mail: kevin.fcosials@upm.es

Alfonso Barbas

Instituto de Fusión Nuclear,
José Gutierrez Abascal 2,
Madrid 28006, Spain;
Jóvenes Nucleares,
Calle Campoamor 17,
Madrid 28004, Spain
e-mail: alfonsobarbas@gmail.com

José García Laruelo

Jóvenes Nucleares,
Calle Campoamor 17,
Madrid 28004, Spain
e-mail: jose.garcialaruelo@jovenesnucleares.org

Manuscript received June 19, 2018; final manuscript received November 29, 2018; published online March 15, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Ignacio Gómez.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 5(2), 020906 (Mar 15, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: NERS-18-1040; doi: 10.1115/1.4042192 History: Received June 19, 2018; Revised November 29, 2018

Nuclear energy has created controversy since its conception during the 1950s. Arguments against it have been constant through the years until the current state on which the majority of western societies are against it as seen in recent surveys. Additionally, confidence in science and scientists is also relatively low. In Spain, these two facts are related with science alphabetization; an average person with lower science alphabetization tends to be more negative about science, and specifically, about nuclear energy science. In this aspect, as science affects major decisions in society, in democracy, it is important that the public is able to interpret scientific information. It is in this context that Jóvenes Nucleares appeared: an organization created by the Spanish Nuclear Society and formed by young people interested in nuclear energy. One of its main goals was the spreading of nuclear science into society. This was made through lectures at high schools, content creation, and enveloping communication campaigns. A skeptical approach has always been taken trying to separate from the lobby argumentation and promoting a strong critical thought. In this paper, as an example of communication campaign, the Basic Nuclear Fusion Course is presented. This campaign involved the creation of the informative content, gathering it into a book, the development of a lecture (consisting of nine topics related to nuclear fusion) to be delivered in universities or high schools, and a strong advertisement effort through social media and presentations in congresses. This campaign has been possible thanks to voluntary work; the main cost of the campaign was the book printing. The early results predict a great support to this new format included into the Jóvenes Nucleares divulgation activities as perceived in the attendance and feedback provided by the audience. With these activities, Jóvenes Nucleares aspires to put another grain of sand toward narrowing the gap between science and society.

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Fig. 1

Results from Spanish poll about science in 2016 [13]

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Fig. 2

Evolution of the Spanish population attitude toward nuclear energy [15]

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Fig. 3

Results from a Spanish poll about nuclear energy in 2016 [18]

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Fig. 4

Differences between interest and informed perception on science and technology [13]

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Fig. 5

Image created for the communication campaign

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Fig. 6

Cover and back cover of the Basic Nuclear Fusion Course book



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