SHARE responds to a growing awareness that the input of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) to research and innovation in the field of ionising radiation applications has not been systematic and is reducing the capacity for society to act in effective and meaningful ways. Insufficient integration of Social Sciences and Humanities research/findings in R&D projects can lead to unresolved risk management decisions or confusion in public opinion regarding radiation protection issues, e.g. low public acceptance of decisions related to radioactive waste management, high risk perception of certain uses of ionising radiation (e.g. food sterilisation), lack of radon awareness, weak connection between emergency management plans and practice, security challenges, and deficiency of informed consent in the medical field.
SHARE aims to help society in its interaction with radiation risk by bringing together researchers from all relevant platforms, associations and projects related to ionising radiation.
The H2020 CONCERT project developed a strategic research agenda (SRA) for SSH in radiation protection, but this covers a limited spectrum of research since it is confined to radiation protection. In addition, this SRA is not self-sustainable since it is limited to the CONCERT project duration. The FP7 PLATENSO project summarised SSH research needs related to nuclear energy policy and radioactive waste management, based on eight national strategies but did not address other critical areas e.g. recovery after radiological emergencies, decommissioning, and the SSH research interests are narrowly defined. The H2020 HONEST project addressed primarily historical research. Furthermore, the SRAs of technical platforms (e.g. NERIS , EURADOS, ALLIANCE, IGDTP, EURAMED, ENA ) give minor attention to SSH research. The FP7 EAGLE and PREPARE projects indicated only some specific needs for research – stakeholder engagement and citizen’s centred communication about ionising radiation-; however they started to establish a valuable network of SSH researchers. On-going projects supported by Euratom are limited to a specific topic, e.g. ENGAGE to enhancing stakeholder participation in the governance of radiological risks, SHAMISEN, CONFIDENCE and TERRITORIES to reducing uncertainties related to decision-making about human and environmental protection for emergency and long term contaminations.
SHARE has benefitted from the networks established in these and other FP7 and Horizon2020 projects to create an umbrella structure for the research initiatives in the wider multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary community. SHARE aims to contribute to focussing EC supported projects in the field of ionising radiation, taking into account societal needs, will contribute to a better implementation of research results and a better use of EC funding.