UH Hilo presents free lectures on radioactive fallout

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Date: Monday, March 31, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo is presenting a pair of free lectures titled “Life in a Radioactive Nation: Lessons from Rongelap” on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at Waikoloa Community Church, and Monday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in UH Hilo’s Campus Center 301.

The lectures will be given by Dr. Barbara Rose Johnston, senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology in Santa Cruz, Calif., and co-author of the upcoming book “Life and Death in a Radioactive Nation: Lessons from Rongelap.”

Rongelap atoll, in the Marshall Islands, was inundated with radioactive fallout from nuclear testing at Bikini atoll, 100 miles away, in 1954. The U.S. government relocated its 82 residents to other islands, then three years later, moved them back to Rongelap on the assumption that it was safe. The Rongalapese suffered high incidences of thyroid problems and other abnormalities, and were again relocated to other islands, this time by Greenpeace, in 1985. Rongelap is still considered unfit for habitation.

The lectures are sponsored by the UH Hilo Pacific Islands Studies Program and the Anthropology Club. For more information, call Dr. Fiona McCormack at 974-7472 or email fionam@hawaii.edu.

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