Symposium: the social science of fusion

Is fusion research just a science and technology story? A symposium on 18 June 2021 explores the historical, social, diplomatic and economical sides of fusion.


On June 18th 2021, nuclear fusion researchers, social scientists and humanities scholars join a conversation about what they can learn from each other’s fields and experiences during the symposium Fusion Research Through the Eyes of Social Scientists and Humanities Scholars.

Eight talks will explore perspectives from the social sciences and humanities on fusion -- from the history of fusion technology to the organisation of big science projects, and from the techno-economical side of fusion energy to the role of science diplomacy in fusion research.

Start the discussion

PhD candidates Richelle Boone (Leiden University, NL) and Michiel Bron (Maastricht University, NL) are interested in the organisational and historical aspects of fusion. While fields like fission and particle physics have attracted their fair share of research from the social sciences and humanities, the pair think that so far, fusion is an under-explored topic in these fields.

"Michiel and I first met at the 60-year-anniversary symposium of EUROfusion's Dutch member DIFFER", recalls Richelle Boone in a Zoom interview. "We decided to set up this symposium to try and raise interest in the social sciences and humanities side of fusion. There are a lot of interesting aspects to fusion for experts in those fields. And conversely, scholars of big organisations and science diplomacy might have a thing or two to contribute to the development of fusion! With our symposium, we hope to start the discussion."

EUROfusion represents the European effort to realise fusion energy. In addition to science and engineering research at our thirty consortium members and over 150 universities, research institutes and companies in Europe, our Socio-Economic Studies group studies the public acceptance and future role of fusion in a sustainable energy mix.