CFP: Workshop on “Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Citizen Science”

Call for Papers: Workshop on “Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Citizen Science”
3-4 May 2017, University of Warwick
Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK.


Citizen science has long been a key means of seeking environmental justice, by bridging the divide between formal expertise and the public. The availability of new digital technologies, Big Data and the Internet has meant community involvement in pollution monitoring has become an increasingly widespread phenomenon. However, the context of expertise and the environment is rapidly changing, with new vulnerabilities emerging. We live in a world of post-truth politics, ‘alternative facts’, and a new wave of climate change denial. The inauguration of Donald Trump in the USA and the shock Brexit result in the UK have created a threatening political climate for experts of all kinds. Just as the value of expertise has been questioned by a new political elite, so too are fresh environmental vulnerabilities emerging at both the global and local levels.

What role does citizen science play in this uncertain landscape? What can we learn from the successes and failures of citizen science campaigns, and the involvement of the public in environmental decision-making, in overcoming these challenges?

This two-day workshop will bring together international researchers working at the intersection of air pollution, environmental justice, and citizen science, from across different regions, disciplines, and scales.

Researchers will discuss the possibilities as well as challenges of engaging with new technologies and strategies for environmental justice and citizen science.

We will conclude our discussions with a public-facing “ideation” workshop, inviting participation from community organizations, NGOs, members of the public, and data scientists. This collaborative workshop will inform our Toxic Expertise project plans to create an international public resource, with accessible information and tools for understanding, monitoring, and reporting toxic pollutants and their health impacts.

In this CFP we welcome scholars from a broad range of disciplines and career stages, as well as environmental justice activists who are interested in – or actively use – citizen science. This session draws attention to the recent changes in the value of expertise, as well as long-standing environmental justice challenges and victories.

Applicants are invited to submit a 200-word abstract on Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Citizen Science to the email address below. Participants will have 20 minutes for presentations and questions. Participants will be offered UK travel expenses, as well as accommodation (with breakfast) for the 3rd of May. Lunch and dinner will also be provided for attendees.

Confirmed speakers include: Professor Phil Brown (Northeastern University); Dr Gwen Ottinger (Drexel University); Dr Jennifer Gabrys (Goldsmiths University); Dr Sam Geall (University of Sussex); and Dr João Porto de Albuquerque (University of Warwick).

Deadline for abstracts: 28th February 2017

Please contact to register interest.

Event Organisers:

Dr Alice Mah, Dr Thom Davies, Dr Cynthia Wang, India Holme (Department of Sociology, University of Warwick). This event is the second annual Toxic Expertise workshop, funded by the ERC and the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account. More information on the Toxic Expertise project can be found here: