Title page for ETD etd-091499-212901

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Crumpton, Amy Cara
Author's Email Address acrumpto@vt.edu
URN etd-091499-212901
Title Toward a Democratic Science? Environmental Justice Activists, Multiple Epidemiologies, and Toxic Waste Controversies
Degree PhD
Department Science and Technology Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Downey, Gary L. Committee Chair
Barrow, Mark V. Jr. Committee Member
Fuhrman, Ellsworth R. Committee Member
Fuller, Steven W. Committee Member
La Berge, Ann F. Committee Member
  • expertise
  • toxic waste
  • social movements
  • environmental justice
  • epidemiology
Date of Defense 1998-11-13
Availability mixed
Environmental justice activists defined an environmental justice, or community-led, research practice as an alternative conception of science to guide epidemiological investigations of the human health effects of hazardous wastes. Activists inserted their position into an ongoing scientific controversy where multiple epidemiologies existed--environmental, dumpsite, and popular--reflecting various understandings and interests of federal and academic epidemiologists, state public health officials, and anti-toxics activists. A 1991 national symposium on health research needs and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, established in 1993 to advise the Environmental Protection Agency, provided important locations through which activists advocated an environmental justice research approach and pressed for its adoption by relevant governmental public health institutions. The shaping of environmental justice research by activists raises intriguing issues about the role of science and expertise in political protest and the importance of democratic participation in the making of environmental policy.

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