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An international perspective with respect to radioecology in the future
2013-07-30 - Radioecology

[ IUR Contribution to a Strategic Research Agenda in Radioecology ]

Two complementary consultations were conducted during the last months to identify research priorities: SRA consultation and IUR consultation.

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To feed prioritization, the IUR questionnaire examines in particular the influence of the context within which radioecology evolution and goals are considered:

. Position of radioecology with respect to radioprotection science
. Position of radioecology with respect to environmental sciences
. Position of radioecology with respect to society (public and authorities)

Overview: 203 respondents throughout the world (170 initial respondents and 33 STAR respondents) - 48 countries represented - Thanks to all contributors.

Conclusions with respect to priorities

  • Environment protection against radiation must be set up in equal coherence with radiation protection for humans and other systems of environment protection
  • Priority targets for radiation protection are: human individuals and ecosystems
  • Least priority targets for radiation protection are: environmental media activity levels and individual organisms of animals and plants
  • Priority scientific approaches are : ecological inferences (ecosystem-centred) and tracer studies/biogeochemical cycles
  • Least priority scientific approaches are: pure toxicological inferences (from molecules up to individual organisms) and widening to larger biodiversity
  • Most important input to society is to improve understanding of processes (transfers, effects, interactions)
  • Other inputs to society are judged less important: regulation and assessment tools, predictions for environmental impact assessment, in situ observations

General conclusions

  • A large majority of radioecologists foresees an evolution of radioecology towards more ecocentrism and ecology than before
  • In the mean time, radioecologists do not forget about their historical role of contributing to provide all environmental elements necessary to feed human radiation protection
  • Identified priorities arise from a simple priorization method based upon a limited set of questions voluntarily provocative (but pertinent). To be seen as one possible contribution.
  • To be noted: questions with respect to radioecology inputs to society provide here the responses form the radioecology communiity, not from society itself…

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