Making the future in the present: using Science and Technology Studies to reflect on 40 years of research in the HADES Underground Research Laboratory

Robbe Geysmans, Marika Silvikko de Villafranca, Gaston Meskens

    Research outputpeer-review


    The timeframes involved in nuclear waste management often speak to the imagination, and even transcend it: what does it mean to isolate and contain human-made materials for periods up to hundreds of thousands or even a million years In this article, we reflect on the role played by the HADES Underground Research Laboratory in making the distant future comprehensible today. Our argument starts by focusing on the pioneering role HADES played and plays in knowledge production on geological disposal. It highlights the heterogeneous nature of scientific experiments and experiences, and the performative role these play in defining matters of concern for research and development. Second, attention is directed to how HADES contributes to the defining of what is considered possible and imaginable, and how it therefore not only renders the future more predictable, but also contributes to the making of that future. We end the paper with a reflection on the implications of what ‘making the future’ could entail from an ethical perspective, discussing how the intergenerational responsibilities that come with these future-making capacities could be handled.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1
    Number of pages10
    JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
    Issue number536
    StatePublished - 6 Mar 2023

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