The committee consisted of Peter Jakab, Klaus Stauberman, and David Zimmerman (Chair)
The prize was advertised in November 2014 in the same venues as the previous year. We received 4 entries, a number considerably lower than in past years. All the entries, however, were of high quality and worthy of consideration for the prize. The committee has unanimously chosen Karena Kalmbach’s Meanings of a Disaster: The Contested 'Truth' about Chernobyl. British and French Chernobyl Debates and the Transnationality of Arguments and Actors, a dissertation completed in September 2014 at the European University Institute, Florence, Department of History and Civilization.
Below 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.
The authors’ abstract can be found in theICOHTEC Newsletter, Vol. 125, Sept. 2015, p. 3. As before, the other submissions will be summarized in the Newsletter.