Environment pollutants

mao_portadaLucia Sapiña

Toxic fumes, asbestos, mercury, lead-based paints… How do the different societies face the various risks to which they are exposed? And how have they done so throughout history? The role of experts, their authority and credibility in different social, political and cultural environments as well as the cultures of risk, the relationship between toxic products and health problems or between activism and ideology have been some of the issues that have been addressed in the last Spring School on History of Science and Popularisation held in Mahón (Menorca) from 14 to 16 May. The School, which has reached this year its eighth edition, is organised by the López Piñero Institute for the History of Science and Medicine of the University of Valencia, the Institut of Minorcan Studies and the Catalan Society of Scientific and Technological History and the European Society for the History of Science.

With the title Living in a toxic world (1800-2000). Experts, activism, industry
and regulation, the School has hosted three keynote addresses. The first, conducted by Gerald Markowitz, professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Centre of the University of New York, explained the case of lead-based paints in the United States, traditionally much used in North American households. The second was conducted by Thomas Le Roux, from  the Centre de Recherches Historiques (Centre of Historical Researches) and specialist in the environmental history of industrialisation, who spoke of the smoke and the change in risk management. Finally, the closing conference was conducted by Andrew Cunningham from the University of Cambridge, who traced a history of mercury through its uses and regulations.

The Spring School of Mahón brought together numerous scholars who study environmental pollution issues from diverse perspectives. Thus, lectures were supplemented with various working sessions thematically grouped (toxic substances, food and medicines and toxic environments) and a posters session.

Silvia Pérez. Student of the Master’s Degree in History of Science and Scientific Communication. University of Valencia.
Lucía Sapiña. The Two Cultures Observatory. Mètode.
© Mètode 2015.

  mao_lateralLucía Sapiña

«The cultures of risk, the relationship between toxic products and health problems, or between activism and ideology, have been some of the issues that have been addressed in the last Spring School on History of Science and Popularisation»


© Mètode 2015