Time-Bombing the Future: Plastics in & Around Us
Program officer Gregory Hargreaves interviews Dr. Rebecca Altman about her research into the intimate history of synthetic materials, industrial chemistry, & the human body. Altman, an environmental sociologist, has made extensive use of the Hagley Library’s vast collection of digitized materials available worldwide at digital.hagley.org.
Cattle drinking from a creek near the Ohio River ingest PFAS and become unwitting agents for the circulation of synthetic materials through the natural world. The legacies of industrial chemistry lace together society and the environment, making synthetic materials such as plastic an ideal location to study the historical relationship that exists between social and natural forces. Altman combines research from across archives to piece together a story of chemical legacies within and all around us.