Launching into 2019

It’s February 1st here in Tokyo already and it’s hard to believe we’re already a month into 2019. Before we realize it the summer will be here and then we’ll be talking about plans for 2020 so before all that happens we thought we’d take a quick moment to recap and let you in on some of the news here at Safecast HQ.

  • Last year fires broke out around Los Angeles including burning through the Santa Susana Field Laboratory sparking concern about the disbursement of radioactive materials from the lab. The power of the Safecast volunteer network was immediately evident as our existing Solarcast sensors in LA were able to give real time radiation and air quality reports around the city, and volunteers with mobile bGeigie sensors took it upon themselves to remap the areas around the fire and lab locations removing concern of any kind of official “cover up” by providing independent 3rd party data. This is a perfect example of what we are trying to build with Safecast.
  • New for 2019 we’re excited to welcome Angela Eaton as our Americas Director! Based in San Francisco, she’ll be working closely with Pieter Franken (Japan Director), Sean Bonner (Global Director) and Joi Ito (Spiritual Advisor) on the task of figuring out the big picture questions like what Safecast will be doing tomorrow, and how to make that happen as well as more targeted issues of community, coverage and outreach in North, Central and South America. More from and about her soon, but we’re absolutely delighted to have her on the team.
  • As mentioned the other day we’ve begun a new series of educational workshops in Japan. The more we talk about individuals being able to monitor their own environments and how anyone can take the steps to do that, the more often we’re asked to demonstrate how it works and this kind of outreach, especially to underserved communities, becomes a bigger part of our work. We’re grateful to CLSA for partnering with us on this project to help make these workshops possible. More on these as they progress.
  • And finally, if we can briefly tease some upcoming news: Our new website should be launching any day now which will provide better clarity of what we’re working on as well as easier ways for everyone to help out. The Air Quality focused sister device of the Solarcast Nano is in progress and we’re looking forward to having more to show you about that in the coming months. And speaking of the coming months, March will see the 8 year anniversary of Safecast. Last year  we celebrated building the largest open radiation dataset ever and having surpassed 100 Million datapoints at the end of 2018, this project continues to be a monumental achievement, and an vibrant example of the power of open.

Thanks for sticking with us all this time, your continued support is what makes this all possible.

About the Author

Sean Bonner

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Sean Bonner is a co-founder and Global Director of Safecast. Based in Tokyo, he's an Associate Professor at Keio University and an Associate Researcher at the Center For Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab.