Residues offers readers a new approach for conceptualizing the environmental impacts of chemicals production, consumption, disposal, and regulation. Environmental protection regimes tend to be highly segmented according to place, media, substance, and effect; academic scholarship often reflects this same segmented approach. Yet, in chemical substances we encounter phenomena that are at once voluminous and miniscule, singular and ubiquitous, regulated yet unruly. Inspired by recent studies of materiality and infrastructures, we introduce “residual materialism” as a framework for attending to the socio-material properties of chemicals and their world-making powers. Tracking residues through time, space, and understanding helps us see how the past has been built into our present chemical environments and future-oriented regulatory systems, why contaminants seem to always evade control, and why the Anthropocene is as inextricably harnessed to the synthesis of carbon into new molecules as it is driven by carbon’s combustion.
About the Author
SORAYA BOUDIA is a professor of sociology at the University of Paris in France. She has authored, co-authored, and co-edited numerous books. She is currently studying the the global environmental crisis and the political economy of toxic waste in the MENA region.
ANGELA N.H. CREAGER is the Thomas M. Siebel Professor in the History of Science at Princeton University in New Jersey. She is co-editor of the recent Risk on the Table: Food Production, Health, and the Environment (with Jean-Paul Gaudillière).
SCOTT FRICKEL is a professor of environment and society and sociology at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Author of six books and over fifty articles, he is currently studying the relationship between hazardous land uses, regulatory science, inequality, and health in Argentina and the United States.
EMMANUEL HENRY is a professor of sociology at Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL University in France and a former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is currently working on the links between scientific knowledge, ignorance, expertise, and public policy, in the fields of environmental and occupational health.
NATHALIE JAS is a researcher at French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE) in Paris. As a STS scholar, she has been working extensively on issues related to toxicants, including pesticides. She is the editor of several books, including Toxicants, Health and Regulation since 1945.
CARSTEN REINHARDT is a professor for historical studies of science at the University of Bielefeld in Germany, where he also directs the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Science (I2SoS) and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF). He works on expert knowledge, regulation, and politics and on the history of the Max Planck Society.
JODY A. ROBERTS is an independent scholar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Roberts’s work has experimented with ways in which we bring the intellectual core of science studies into the ideas, expectations, and experiences of everyday life. His current work explores the intersection of innovation, imagination, and disability.
"This erudite and accessible book presents a novel theoretical framing that draws on examples from a multiplicity of intriguing case studies from across the globe. Residues is distinguished by its collaborative authorship and multi-disciplinary and multinational scope, seeking to change how scholars in a range of disciplines study chemicals." — Sara Shostak
"Residues shows how the chemicals we systematically ignore are powerful agents shaping our environmental future. A compelling argument for putting forgotten materials front and center in environmental research and politics."
— Evan Hepler-Smith
"Residues offers readers a new approach for conceptualizing the environmental impacts of chemicals production, consumption, disposal, and regulation." — American Sociological Association - Environmental Sociology Newsletter
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