We need chemicals to function. Our farms, cities, industries, health services – in other words, our ecologies, economies, and societies – rely on these chemicals; they are entangled both with systems that unevenly sustain lives and systems that unevenly cause harm.
In this dialogue we invite:
- Anita Hardon, Chair of Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation Group - WUR
- Lucia Hernandez - European Centre of excellence for sustainable water technology- Wetsus
- Liesje Mommer - Professor of Plant Ecology & Figurehead Biodiversity
- Angeliki Balayannis- Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Exeter
Together with you we would like to engage in an inspiring dialogue and explore how we can live a good enough live as chemically altered beings in a permanently polluted world.
Our present and our future are chemically altered and there is no going back to a world free of industrially-produced toxic chemicals. Chemicals are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the work we do, the soil on which we live, play, and grow our food, the (pesticide-laced) food that we eat, the building materials of our homes, and the (personal) hygiene products we use.
These chemicals flow through and accumulate in our bodies, adding up and affecting us in ways we have hardly begun to fully understand. We do know that “forever chemicals”, like PFAS, are nearly ubiquitous and hard to avoid while “forever waste”, like plastics, increasingly fill lands and waters. And yet, our farms, cities, industries, health services – in other words, our ecologies, economies, and societies – rely on these chemicals; they are entangled both with systems that unevenly sustain lives and systems that unevenly cause harms.
Confronting this reality, not pessimistically as dystopia but collaboratively and creatively, is necessary. In this dialogue we invite a transdisciplinary collection of scholars and a participatory audience to explore how we might live good enough lives as chemically altered beings in a permanently polluted world.
Bringing society into science- Dialogues Series, Powered by Social Sciences Group
The ‘Bringing society into science- Dialogues Series’ is an initiative led by the Social Sciences Group (SSG) at WUR and it is meant to be an interactive and inter-intra disciplinary dialogue space, to promote collaboration and find answers together for today’s big societal challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, inequalities in prosperity and health.
These are challenges resulting from our way of life, our use of the earth and the logic of societal and economic structures. Our global society holds the keys to finding answers to these major challenges, and within WUR the Social Sciences Group have a central role to play in close interaction with other science groups and key stakeholders.