Wen-Ling Tu, Wen-Ling Hong, Yi-Ping Lin, Shiang-Yao Liu, Hsin-Hsing Chen, Chen-Yung Lin, Chung-Hsi Lin, Yuan Yuan

Sydney 2018: Issues, people and publics

It started out as individual workers’ bodily experience of illnesses, particularly women’s reproductive health problems. Then it became an issue for social movement campaign, a collective phenomenon of occupational disease confirmed through hotly contested scientific research findings even though most records about the issue had been destroyed. Finally, in a groundbreaking decision in 2015, the court of law found one of the largest transnational high-tech companies of the 20th century liable for workplace chemical exposure of its former employees during its operation in Taiwan between 1969 and 1992 that has caused cancers and other serious health damages. The two decade-long RCA struggle has involved thousands of victims and volunteers, including many STSers and scientists from various disciplines, and culminated into the largest and most science-intensive lawsuit in the judicial history of Taiwan. During the long trial, many unexpected evidences are discovered, scrutinized, and fiercely debated over in court by the parties. This first episode of an eight-part series of an atypical science-education program tells the story of how people came to understand uncertainties in science, and thus understand how scientific knowledge can be useful for a society to face pressing matters such as those in the RCA lawsuit.