Mel Bunce

increasingly encounter media content that blurs the line between reality and fiction. This includes everything from rumours and exaggerations on social media, through to partisan journalism, satire and completely invented stories that are designed to look like real news articles. Although this media content varies enormously, it is often grouped together under nebulous and all-encompassing terms such as ‘fake news’, ‘disinformation’ or ‘post-truth’ media. Scholars have started to pay serious attention to the production and impact of all these forms of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Environmental justice and citizen science in a post-truth age
Editors: Thom Davies and Alice Mah

This book examines the relationship between environmental justice and citizen science, focusing on enduring issues and new challenges in a post-truth age. Debates over science, facts, and values have always been pivotal within environmental justice struggles. For decades, environmental justice activists have campaigned against the misuses of science, while at the same time engaging in community-led citizen science. However, post-truth politics has threatened science itself. This book makes the case for the importance of science, knowledge, and data that are produced by and for ordinary people living with environmental risks and hazards. The international, interdisciplinary contributions range from grassroots environmental justice struggles in American hog country and contaminated indigenous communities, to local environmental controversies in Spain and China, to questions about “knowledge justice,” citizenship, participation, and data in citizen science surrounding toxicity. The book features inspiring studies of community-based participatory environmental health and justice research; different ways of sensing, witnessing, and interpreting environmental injustice; political strategies for seeking environmental justice; and ways of expanding the concepts and forms of engagement of citizen science around the world. While the book will be of critical interest to specialists in social and environmental sciences, it will also be accessible to graduate and postgraduate audiences. More broadly, the book will appeal to members of the public interested in social justice issues, as well as community members who are thinking about participating in citizen science and activism. Toxic Truths includes distinguished contributing authors in the field of environmental justice, alongside cutting-edge research from emerging scholars and community activists.

Open Access (free)
Tackling environmental injustice in a post-truth age
Thom Davies and Alice Mah

Introduction: Tackling environmental injustice in a post-­truth age Thom Davies and Alice Mah It is difficult to make sense of a historical moment when you are caught in the middle of ­it – ­and difficult to tell if it even is a moment, or just a small part of something far bigger. Over the past few years we have witnessed rising authoritarianism, extreme weather events attributed to climate change, the fallout from political populism, and – as this book goes to print – a global pandemic. In 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary made post-truth its word of the

in Toxic truths
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Open Access (free)
Thom Davies

power and big business in unforeseen ways. While it might be wrong to imagine “a prelapsarian past in which truth legitimately preceded and guided politics” (Jasanoff and Simmet 2017, 753), today, the rise of “big data” has opened up new avenues for “post-­truth” to thrive, with potential environmental consequences. The success of populist movements such as Trump and Brexit, as well as political campaigns in Kenya and Nigeria, have all been linked to the data analytics of political consulting firms such as Cambridge Analytica (Persily 2017); future elections, it seems

in Toxic truths
Open Access (free)
Alice Mah

the way d­ own – ­from the problem definition, methodological considerations and data collection, to the final analyses.” Contrasting this robust, community-­led participatory science with the “deception and demagoguery of populism and post-­truth politics,” Allen concludes her chapter by arguing that the inclusion of embodied public knowledge about environmental health in the Étang de Berre case led to more relevant and effective science, including significant impacts for local policy. In the next chapter, Bhavna Shamasunder and her co-­authors discuss the results

in Toxic truths
Open Access (free)
Thom Davies

relief in an age of post-­truth, where expertise of all kinds is being diminished, undermined, and questioned. In this ­section – ­drawing on case studies from Ecuador, Ghana, and ­Brazil – ­the authors take up the challenge of how to make “sense” of pollution and witness its impacts, by looking at different ways that pollution is being voiced and observed by the public. But how can you witness pollution if it is invisible? As we saw in the previous chapter, where we encountered the cesspits and pig shit of North Carolina’s hog industry, not all pollution is unsenuous

in Toxic truths
Peter C. Little

compelling counterpoint to systemic DAVIES & MAH 9781526137029 PRINT.indd 141 08/06/2020 15:32 142 Sensing and witnessing injustice post-­truth politics in the Trump era. For example, one of the most powerful uses of photography-­for-­proof in recent times was on January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The image spread quickly. Visual proof concluded that Barak Obama was the obvious champion of recent inaugural turnout statistics, despite the Trump Administration’s efforts to convince the public otherwise. In short, the citizen showing for Obama

in Toxic truths
Barbara L. Allen

2007; Moore et al. 2011) or epistemic democratization (Sismondo 2017) whereby laypeople and social movement groups participate in shaping the science and enacting the scientific agendas that impact them (Hess 2015; Hess et al. 2017). However, as I will argue in this chapter, the kinds of new knowledge that residents of environmentally compromised communities produce, while different from the science they are arguing against, are substantively and categorically opposite from the popular press version of “alt facts” in our post-­truth era. By this I refer to the recent

in Toxic truths
The “Clean City” law in São Paulo, Brazil
Marina Da Silva

have given rise to national indignation (Phillips 2019). However, it was his Amazon exploration proposal at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that caused international outrage (Shear and Haberman 2019). Bolsonaro’s discourse on the environment and his ideas on the commercialization of the Amazon show the dangers of post-­truth politics, not only by acting as a climate change denier but also by undermining the agencies responsible for environment protection: the president’s response to criticism of the policy was to state that “What is damaging Brazil’s image

in Toxic truths