Category Archives: science and scientists

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.

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 […]
Read More »

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 […]
Read More »

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 […]
Read More »

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.

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.

Bibliography for Critical Ecology

Since ecological metaphors, systems, and thinking are implicit to much of discard studies, we’re happy to share this crowdsourced bibliography on critical perspectives of ecology.

CFP: Living and Dying with “Waste Infrastructure”: Affect and Practicalities (AAA)

This panel takes seriously the way of living or dying near the waste infrastructure, showing explicitly ethnographic inquiries of despair, anxiety, hope, and sense of purity, safety, and security through looking at the daily pragmatics. Deadline: 4/5/16.

Dumpster Diving at the World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

This is where the creative process foundational to science, fixing, and hacking come together. Rather than making more of the same, whether it’s in science or technology, the scientists, artists, and engineers at GOSH push boundaries, exceed norms, and open up possibilities. Trash is one avenue towards that goal.