Friday, March 07, 2014

The Science of Fellowship

Morning has broken at the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau's Martin Niemoller Haus (Arnoldshain) Conference Center where the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)-organized congress "The Effects of Nuclear Disasters on the Natural Environment and Human Beings" (INFO) is taking place.

The day began with the reading of a short story called "The Most Important Thing in Life", about the tsunami and subsequent contamination of the ocean.  Accompanied by pictures, the story was read by 3rd year medical student Akari Konta, the eldest daughter of Fukushima doctor Kaoru Konta.  Later, many people commented on the use of art (including film) to document this disaster.

The day's papers then began with personal statements, including their observations about pediatric thyroid cancer cases in Fukushima, by Dr. Konta Kaoru and Dr. Taneichi Yasuyuki.  I am honoured to know both of these doctors quite well and have spent much time with them over the past few months.

These were followed by the papers of Dr. Danilova, Dr. Zubec (at 28, the youngest scientist at this congress) and the much-respected Dr. Malko, all experts in the health affects of radiation exposure following the accident at Chernobyl.

In the afternoon, there were two fascinating papers presented about wildlife living in areas of radioactive contamination by Dr. Timothy Mousseau and Cornelia Hesse-Honegger.

Again, information from all of the papers presented at the congress, including power point presentations, are being collected and uploaded to the IPPNW website as a free resource to be shared across the world (HERE).

In addition to the scientific research being presented at this congress, there has been time for fellowship for the international participants during meals, coffee breaks, and even during sing-alongs (and drinks!) in the evenings.

By wonderful coincidence today was Dr. Taneichi's birthday, and after the last session, the members gathered together to celebrate.

No comments: