Features

History, Ethics, and the Environmental Archive

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In Marshallese culture the environment itself is sacred.[1] Yet American colonizers used ancestral environments in the Marshall Islands for devastating nuclear weapons testing and related environmental research. Once central to emerging understandings of radiobiology, geology, and ecology, archival records of environmental research in the Marshall Islands offer a wealth of data to historians of science and the environment. These …

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Toxicity, Waste, Detritus: An Introduction

Planet Earth has entered the time of the Anthropocene. For natural scientists, this means that human activity, taken as a whole, has come to rival geological and biophysical forces in its effect on the planet. Disturbing material comparisons communicate the deep weirdness of this fact. For example, there’s now enough concrete on the planet to produce a 2mm thick, full-scale …

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Working for the Race: Black Scholars, Invisible Labor, and the Baggage of Creating Space

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Photograph taken by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, February 25, 2017

“Critical Histories, Activist Futures: Science, Medicine and Racial Violence,” a conference hosted by Yale University in February 2017, was a welcome departure from the Anglo-centrism dominating the fields of the History of Science and Medicine (HS&M). Focusing on the history of knowledge production, dissemination, and professionalization using objects, practices, and ideas, …

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Mothers Matter: Developing the ‘Waiting Mother’

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“Waiting indicates that we are engaged in, and have expectations from, life; that we are on the lookout for what life is going to throw our way” (Hage, 2009: 1).

Waiting is an inevitable part of human existence. Whether we are waiting for the bus, waiting to heal, waiting to give birth, or waiting for the day to begin or …

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More than Local Arrangements: How Conference Logistics Can Speak to Values

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In the fall of 2016, my colleagues Tess Lanzarotta, Marco Ramos, and I met as the core organizers for the “Critical Histories, Activist Futures” conference to hammer out our individual roles. We decided that I would take on the role of head of local arrangements, managing all of the practical logistics for the conference: food, room reservations, registration, etc. “Local …