Image from Arn Keeling and John Sandlos’ The Abandoned Mines Project, which studies the historical impacts of abandoned mines on First Nations communities in northern Canada.

We are pleased to announce the launch of WaSTE (Waste and Science, Technology & Environment), an interdisciplinary research hub based at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Whether we are studying arsenic from mining waste in the far north, electronic waste in outer space, or plastic pollution in oceans and bodies, we critically examine the confluence of social and material “matters of concern” as they pertain to waste, broadly defined, using theories and methods from Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Few universities in the US and Canada have such a concentration of scholars looking at discards, particularly those who use the critical lens of STS to look at the social, cultural, economic, and historical aspects of waste and pollution. WaSTE members include: Arn Keeling (Geography), Josh Lepawsky (Geography), Max Liboiron (Sociology), Charlie Mather (Geography), and John Sandlos (History). Our projects are: The Discard Studies Blog, The Abandoned Mines Project, Toxic Legacies Project, Reassembling Rubbish, and a new ocean plastics monitoring project. We are also affiliated with the Politics of Evidence Working Group at York University.

Currently WaSTE is busy collaborating on projects and grants, and working to build a strong local network of students and faculty.