Thursday Lecture Series: Evidence

Film, Science, Politics

Wednesday, The Heyman Center

Peter Galison’s lecture addressed speculation as it pertains to inaccessible
sites, focusing on “nuclear wastelands” and “pure wilderness.”
As they are usually understood, these designations are
polar opposites, and yet the two categories paradoxically converge
on the sites of “decommissioned nuclear weapons lands” that
have been classified by the U.S. government as a special kind of
“natural preserve.” Taking stock of plans to handle lands that will
remain saturated with radioactive waste and weapons for tens of
thousands of years, Professor Galison argued that removing parts
of the earth in perpetuity alters a central feature of the human self
and raises irreducible questions about who we are when land can
be classified, forever, as not for us humans.