Johanna and Carolin have published an article in the special issue “Seas and Oceans” of Aus Politik- und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ) discussing how science has discovered the phenomenon of garbage patches in the oceans and how microplastics are negotiated at the interface of science and society.
The diagnosis that we are living in a world-risk society formulated by Ulrich Beck twenty years ago (Beck 1996) has lost nothing of its power, especially against the background of the Anthropocene debate. “Global risks” have been identified which are caused by human activities, technology and modernization processes. Microplastics are a byproduct of exactly these modernization processes, being distributed globally by physical processes like ocean currents, and causing effects far from their place of origin.
Meandering 26 miles through southeastern Pennsylvania, Darby Creek flows into the Delaware River just west of Philadelphia International Airport. I first visited Darby Creek with Professor Helen K. White and a dozen other undergraduate students from Haverford College as part of a chemistry lab intensive course.
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