Newburyport Adult Ed class offers insights and lessons from local expert
The culture of obedience and the lack of the public’s ability to ask questions contributed to the chain of events that triggered the nuclear accident at Chernobyl. This is what Gary Dunbar believes, and it points to the importance of a strong democracy, freedom of speech and the role of citizen groups to engage with — and sometimes question — the government.
Dunbar is a West Newbury resident who worked for a decade as a government consultant in and around Russia and the former Soviet republics, most notably with officials trying to manage the after-effects of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown.
“Cultural differences would make it extremely unlikely for something like Chernobyl to happen in the U.S.” said Dunbar, adding that “the macho culture in Ukraine exceeds anything I’ve ever seen; it’s a very different world.”
“What your group (the C-10 Foundation) can do in this culture is vastly important,” Dunbar observed. “You have the ability to take bureaucracy to task, to raise issues and ask questions.The fact that it exists and you’re able to ask questions is an enormously important safeguard that we have in this country.”
Dunbar will share photos taken inside the reactor, maps of radiation, and personal stories of what happened to people he knew who were affected by radiation, as well as other topics.
“Part of what I want to do is help people understand Russia a tiny bit more,” said Dunbar.
Beginning on October 26, Gary will lead a discussion class to share his experience and insights. Learn more and register online at Newburyport Adult and Community Education’s website.