Category Archives: Methods

Review of Richard S. Newman’s “Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present”

Newman’s activists press for environmental change imbedded with critiques of capitalism and industrialization, racial injustice, and its global implications. This view distorts the complexity of historical events within the environmental movement.

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 »

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.

Ethnographic Refusal: A How to Guide

Refusal is a method whereby researchers and research participants together decide not to make particular information available for use within the academy. Here are some strategies for identifying and collaborating with research refusals.

Bibliography on Action-Based Research Methods

As researchers, we often want to make material and social changes through our work. Regardless of our institutional affiliations and disciplines, there are concrete ways to achieve this, many of which are not taught in traditional university methods courses.

Refusal as Research Method in Discard Studies

Ethnographic refusal is a practice by which researchers and research participants together decide not to make particular information available for use within the academy. Its purpose is not to bury information, but to ensure that communities are able to respond to issues on their own terms.

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.

Municipal versus Industrial Waste: Questioning the 3-97 ratio

We do not have an idea of the quantity of non-household solid waste produced in North America. When we do have ideas of (sub)quantities, we do not have good classifications, so we do not know what we are quantifying.

How to do a household waste audit–and why

A waste audit is an analysis of a localized waste stream from your building, household, classroom, town or business. It can identify what types of waste that local generates, and how much. How do you conduct an audit? What can you learn from one?

Trading on distortion

The lead researcher on a seminal work mapping the international traffic of e-waste responds to criticism of his research on material flows.