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We will soon start planning our next Annual Workshop. We aniticipate holding our 2018 Workshop in either July or September 2018 and more details will be added in due course.

We have a few events coming up with CoventryCAN where Toxic Expertise research will be discussed locally in Coventry.

Past Events

Annual Workshop May 2017: Workshop on Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Citizen Science


(Above, Sam Geall, Sussex University)

We invited people to join our workshop on the theme of Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Citizen Science, which we held on 3-4 May 2017, at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK.

"The two-day event involved over thirty scholars and members of the public who shared their experiences of environmental justice, pollution and citizen science from a variety of perspectives. Environmental justice experts Phil Brown (Northeastern University) and Gwen Ottinger (Drexel University) gave keynote addresses, and fourteen other academics from a range of disciplines presented fascinating research papers that highlighted cutting edge scholarship at the nexus of citizen science and environmental justice."

"We were lucky with the weather during the workshop, and fortunate to be joined by Cindy Regalado from Public Lab and UCL, who gave a fantastic ‘Kite Mapping’ demonstration."


The above quotes are extracts from a summary piece by Thom Davies, published in Toxic News May 2017. Thom's full summary of the workshop can be found here.

Thursday November 3rd 2016: Toxic Expertise: Environment, Economy, Politics

At our first public engagement event we discusses the following questions: what value does 'expertise' still have in our society? How is expertise used, manipulated or ignored for political, social and environmental reasons? Has expertise itself become ‘toxic’?

A full write up of the event which inluded presentations from Mary Creagh MP, Neena Gill MEP, Dr Erik Van Sebille, Dr Frank Kelly, David Powell (New Economics Foundation) and Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement) can be accessed here.

Mary Creagh MP at the Toxic Expertise event

(Photo Credit: Angeliki Balayannis, attendee)

This even was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ‘Impact Acceleration Account’ and the ERC Starting Grant 'Toxic Expertise' - Grant Agreement No. 639583

Event Feedback from our Annual Workshop 2017:

"What things did you enjoy most about today's event and why?"

"This conference got the exact right balance between critical studies and reports of case studies between engagement and reflexivity."

"The ideation workshop - I've never done anything like that!"

"How will anything you have learnt during this event lead to changes in your understandings of certain things?"

"This conference reinforced to me the importance of thinking through environmental justice issues on a case by case basis. The importance of nuance, history and context when addressing EJ issues and leaning with citizen science."

“Different methods in this work, very thought provoking.”

“Will anything you learnt during this event lead to changes in things that you do?

“Definitely now interested in using participatory and DIY methods as a form of knowledge production.”

“What, if anything, could we improve regarding our events?”

“Nothing! Best conference in a very long time.”

“It was great. Well organised and interesting, I really enjoyed it.”

Thursday 19 May 2016: 'Pollution, Health & Global Governance': Roundtable Discussion and Film Screening of 'Warriors of Quigang' 

Friday 20th May 2016: Annual Toxic Expertise Workshop: 'Environment & Expertise'

Speakers included: Barbara Allen (Virgina Tech Washington DC Campus); Scott Frickel (Brown University) Anna Lora-Wainwright (University of Oxford); Mao Da (the co-founder of two Chinese ENGOs, Independence and Justice for Sustainability, Beijing); Gordon Walker (Lancaster University); and Sujatha Raman (University of Nottingham).

This one-day workshop provided a platform to discuss key issues surrounding the competing claims of expertise, agency and environmental knowledge. We explored debates about expertise in relation to pollution and health, environmental justice, public participation, and social movements, drawing on examples in the United States, China, and Europe. Expertise exists in all societies, and what it means to be an expert has been challenged, interrogated and unpicked by scholars from a variety of disciplines. Despite key insights by Bruno Latour, Brian Wynne and many others, there remain many questions surrounding expertise and the environment that are yet to be answered. In an era where we are increasingly facing ‘wicked’ environmental problems (Rittel 1973), it is more important than ever to understand whose expertise is valued and which information is discarded. Whether concerning the impacts of environmental disasters, or the slower brutality of climate change, competing claims are often made, reinforced, unmade and hidden from public and policy view.

  • What is meant by expertise?
  • Who can lay claim to expert knowledge?
  • Which knowledge is excluded and what expertise is hidden?
  • What makes us experts?

The workshop facilitated interdisciplinary and exploratory conversations and collaborative knowledge exchange.

Project Launch:

On 4 November, we celebrated the launch of our project at the University of Warwick, showcasing our project website and the first issue of our e-magazine Toxic News. The launch featured presentations from our project team and a lively discussion, with participation from our advisory board and from academics across the university.