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Toxicity in the 21st century 
Annamaria Carusi (University of Sheffield)
Tom Widger (Durham University)
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Encounters between people, things and environments
Bowland North Seminar Room 2
Start time:
28 July, 2018 at
Time zone: Europe/London
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Toxicology has a long history. With unprecedented levels and combinations of chemicals in bodies and environments, and high industrial and political stakes in this domain, this panel gathers critiques of traditional approaches to managing toxins, and the articulation of alternative approaches.

Long Abstract:

The 20th century saw unprecedented levels of chemicals in the environment, products, foods a vast number of chemicals and chemical mixtures about which we are largely ignorant (EDF 1997). The 20th century was a 'new age of toxicity' (Cronon 2010), and there is certainly no sign of this abating in the 21st, with serious implications for human and animal health, and for the environment. The nature and actions of industrially produced chemicals challenge deep seated traditional conceptions of poisons, as well as the methods, tools and technologies, and broad approaches for testing and regulating them. With high industrial and political stakes in the science of toxicology and the governance of chemicals, this is a domain where science, nature and society are inextricably interconnected.

This panel invites papers that analyse the current situation and advance new and emerging trends in toxicology,, including (but not limited to):

— alternative scientific and regulatory approaches in social, economic and political context 

— histories and politics of toxicology

— feminist critiques of toxicology

— toxicology in cultural context

— local and global toxicologies

— citizen activism and toxicology

— technologies and toxicology

— human and non-human animals and toxicology


Cronon, W., 2010. Foreword: The Pain of a Poisoned World. In Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan. Washington, D.C.: Washington University Press, pp. ix-xii.

EDF (Environmental Defence Fund) 1997. Toxic Ignorance: The Continuing Absence of Basic Health Testing for Top-selling Chemicals in the United States.

Accepted papers:

Session 1