Category Archives: Labor

Against Risk Perception

The deficit model frames public controversies about contamination as a lack of scientific understanding or trust in government institutions. People are seen as deficient in knowledge about an issue, erasing local, community, and personal expertise.

Keyword: Deconstruction Waste (Building)

By Susan Ross Building deconstruction refers to the careful taking apart of a building to salvage its reusable materials and components. These are either stored on site for short-term integration in a new design, or removed to a salvage yard for use at a later date. Whereas prevailing mechanical demolition creates mounds of unsorted debris […]
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In space, this is the age of reusability

It might seem that the obvious solution is to reuse rockets. The idea of Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs) isn’t new, but reusing rockets has proven tricky in the past.

Benzene, PCBs, and industrial chemistry: A narrative bibliography

How the Benzene Tree Polluted the World in The Atlantic by Rebecca Altman, is a narrative exploration of the rise of organic chemistry, and the industrialization of the branch of chemistry based on the benzene ring. The piece focuses on the geopolitical forces shaping the production and global distribution of PCBs, a class of industrial chemicals that, though […]
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How we discovered pollution-poisoned crustaceans in the Mariana Trench

A trench amphipod, Hirondellea gigas, from the deepest place on Earth: Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (10,890m). Alan Jamieson, Newcastle University, Author provided Alan Jamieson, Newcastle University Even animals from the deepest places on Earth have accumulated pollutants made by humans. That’s the unfortunate finding of a new study by myself with colleagues from […]
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CPF: Shifting Baselines, Altered Horizons: Politics, Practice, and Knowledge in Environmental Science and Policy

Workshop – Call for Papers  Shifting Baselines, Altered Horizons: Politics, Practice, and Knowledge in Environmental Science and Policy  Max Planck Institute for the History of Science  (MPIWG) Berlin, Germany – 21-22 June 2018 Convenors: Wilko Graf von Hardenberg (MPIWG, Germany), Thomas Lekan, (University of South Carolina, USA), Sebastián Ureta, (Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile)   Description […]
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Pristine paradise to rubbish dump: the same Pacific island, 23 years apart

Remember, this is not waste that was dumped directly by human hands. It was washed here on ocean currents, meaning that this is not just about one beach – it shows how much the pollution problem has grown in the entire ocean system in little more than two decades.

Beyond breakdown: Exploring Regimes of Maintenance

Mending, repairing, fixing, restoring, preserving, cleaning, recycling, up-keeping… an immense variety of more or less noticeable practices take part in the maintenance of objects, technologies and infrastructures. In this article we would like to make a first step into questioning such diversity. How can we understand the differences in the ways things are taken care of? What can we learn from the variety of justifications for objects to be mended, fixed, patched up, or patiently restored? In which conditions are these operations considered as important or negligible?

Electronics Reuse and Recycling in Peru: A Photographic exploration

A walk down this little street in Peru’s capital provides a glimpse into an understated network that quietly plays a critical role in reducing the environmental impacts of our global production and consumption patterns of electronic devices.

When Deep Time Becomes Shallow: Knowing Nuclear Waste Risk Ethnographically

When reflecting on these intertwined day-to-day, multi-decade, centurial, and multi-millennial horizons of nuclear waste risk all at the same time, a different set of sensibilities emerges. Namely, it becomes evident how relatively short-term events like unanticipated deaths, retirements of key experts, obsolescence of information storage technologies, and surprise career-changes can potentially shake nuclear waste management projects’ stabilities.