Features

History, Ethics, and the Environmental Archive

This article is part of the series:

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 …

Features

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 …

Features

Human Contamination: The Infectious Border Crossings of Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X

This article is part of the series:

“What if an infection was a message, a brightness a kind of symphony? As a defense? An odd form of communication? If so, the message had not been received, would probably never be received” (Acceptance 490).

“What if containment is a joke?” (Acceptance 576).

It all begins with a thorn: the delicate, glittering prickle of an unidentified plant

BooksFeatures

Sara Shostak’s “Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health”

exposed-science-coverExposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health

by Sara Shostak

University of California Press, 2013, 312 pages

 

“Genetics loads the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.” This turn of phrase, from Sara Shostak’s book Exposed Science: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health, suggests that human variability and heredity is the …

BooksFeatures

Top of the Heap: Matthew Kohrman

This article is part of the series:

[For this instalment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with medical anthropologist and Associate Professor Matthew Kohrman from Stanford University.]

Summer has arrived in North America. Catching up on academic reading is not my first priority at the moment. May it be yours! If so, here are a few texts among the many that have been beckoning …