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Knowledge Infrastructures of Air Pollution: Tracing the In-Between Spaces of Interdisciplinary Science in Action

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Ethnographies and Health
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Abstract

This chapter draws on ethnographic research of interdisciplinary air pollution science. Interdisciplinarity characterises contemporary public health research and ethnographers are increasingly contributors to these epistemic milieus. There has been limited research to date on the role ethnographic knowledge can play in the production of science and its objects of concern. Discussing the different fieldsites that made up this ethnography, the chapter details the role of scientific data in the construction of shared spaces of concern and collaborative research relations. Modifications to different air pollution data mobilised informal knowledge infrastructures that sustained and produced interdisciplinary ways of doing and knowing. By foregrounding the less visible work of repair and maintenance, the socio-material relations of science could be studied and engaged with in explorative and experimental ways. To conclude, the author proposes how ethnographers may be able to potentially contribute to future framings of health.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For example, NERC’s recent call (http://www.nerc.ac.uk/innovation/activities/environmentaldata/health-call/) invited projects for identifying and filling knowledge gaps around the potential of environmental data to improve health outcomes in the UK.

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Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the researchers on the WHAP project for their collaboration and encouragement during my fieldwork. The research was funded by the Natural and Environmental Research Council. Postdoc funding from the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness also supported the writing of this chapter.

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Correspondence to Emma Garnett .

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Garnett, E. (2018). Knowledge Infrastructures of Air Pollution: Tracing the In-Between Spaces of Interdisciplinary Science in Action. In: Garnett, E., Reynolds, J., Milton, S. (eds) Ethnographies and Health. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89396-9_14

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89396-9_14

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

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