Dr. Karena Kalmbach receives ICOHTEC Prize for Young Scholars

Karena Kalmbach

Karena Kalmbach

News from Sep 29, 2015

On the occasion of the ICOHTEC (International Committee for the History of Technology) annual conference in Tel Aviv, Dr. Karena Kalmbach was awarded the ICOHTEC Prize for Young Scholars. She received the prize for her PhD thesis on “Meanings of a Disaster: The Contested 'Truth' about Chernobyl. British and French Chernobyl Debates and the Transnationality of Arguments and Actors”. Karena defended her PhD thesis in September 2014 at European University Institute in Florence.

The ICOHTEC-Book Prize is sponsored by the Juanelo Turriano Foundation. ICOHTEC is interested in the history of technology, focusing on technological development as well as its relationship to science, society, economy, culture and the environment. There is no limitation as to theoretical or methodological approaches. 
Eligible for the prize are original book-length works in any of the official ICOHTEC languages (English, French, German, Russian or Spanish) in the history of technology: published or unpublished Ph.D. thesis or other monographs written by scholars who, when applying for the prize, are not older than 37 years. Articles and edited anthologies are not eligible.

This is a summary of the committee’s comments on the winning entry:

Kalmbach has done an excellent job of placing her research in the context of other scholarship and other disciplines that have addressed Chernobyl. She has also very carefully framed her questions and methodology. The committee appreciated her forthrightness about how she personally related to her research and conclusions, and how her discussion of this helps us to think about how we, those personally detached from the topic, might think about the issues. We thought these were admirable features of the work. It is well researched and she has organized her findings and arguments well. Our core evaluation of it was as a piece of sophisticated scholarship, which makes an important contribution to the history of technology.