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.
. As countless frontline communities around the world testify, pollution can also be embodied, viscous, acrid,
and uncanny. It can stick in the back of your throat and cling to your nostrils.
It can bring you out in rashes or leave you short of breath. For those living in
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highly toxicgeographies, such as Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” pollution can also
catch you off-guard and wake you up in the middle of the night (Davies 2018).
Pollution can also be witnessed in the
., Dolezal, N., and Moross, J. 2016. Safecast: Successful
citizen-science for radiation measurement and communication after Fukushima. Journal
of Radiological Protection, 36(2), S82.
Davies, T. 2019. Slow violence and toxicgeographies: “Out of sight” to whom? Environment
and Planning C: Politics and Space, 1–19.
Gabrys, J. 2014. Programming environments: Environmentality and citizen sensing in the
smart city. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(1), 30–48.
Irwin, A. 1995. Citizen Science: A Study of People, Expertise, and Sustainable Development.
Tackling environmental injustice in a post-truth age
Thom Davies and Alice Mah
” (Malin and Ryder 2018), not
only because the experience of pollution rarely fits neatly into isolated silos of
social injustice – along traditional lines of race, class, g ender – but also because
of the changing material complexities of pollution itself, where multiple toxicants
often overlap, interconnect, and intersect in unpredictable ways. Other aspects
of environmental injustice, however, have remained tragically entrenched.
More than three decades after the first wave of environmental justice research,
the same toxicgeographies in the Deep South that