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Environment, waste, and the future

News: Mar 28, 2017

How can humanities and social sciences contribute in environmental research?

Professor Myra J. Hird, Professor in the School of Environmental Studies and the Director of the genera Research Group (gRG) focuses on how to merge technology and environmental studies with research within social sciences and humanities.

The seminar will be about waste management in Canada and the important role of the humanities in order to handle ethical, democratic issues and strategies for common action. 

The title of Myra Hirds speech in April will be The Up- and Down-streaming of Waste’s Management, and the Role of Social Science and Humanities Research.
In Canada, as elsewhere, waste is largely understood as a techno-scientific problem amenable to techno-scientific solutions. This points to a circular logic: engineering and science articulate the terms and parameters of waste ‘problems’ such that each new problem tethers us to further ‘solutions’ in the form of further techno-scientific innovations. As such, most attention is directed towards more and better diversion, better landfilling and repository technology, better semiological technologies for warning the future, and the development of new waste management technologies. Social sciences and humanities research demonstrate the urgent need to better comprehend society’s fundamental and inextricable entanglement with techno-scientific phenomena, and in particular the indeterminacy and contingency of their risks. In other words, while certainly necessary in the contemporary context, techno-scientific ameliorations to waste are ‘downstream’ responses to emphatically ‘upstream’ issues; issues that require a socio-ethical framework, and engage democratic deliberation, and collective action. 

Listen to Myra Hird in Lilla Hörsalen, Humanisten, on 27 April at 1-3 PM

Interview with Myra Hird here


Page Manager: Katarina Wignell|Last update: 2/22/2017

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