What can the history of the soil tell us about modernity and its ills? An experiment in urban gardening sets Kate Brown thinking about the consequences of the western world’s perennial misuse of the land – and how to return life to today’s extinct terrains.
Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is the author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (2019), Dispatches from Dystopia (2015), Plutopia (2013), and A Biography of No Place (2004).
An interview with Kate Brown
In the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, international agencies dismissed local doctors’ warnings about a ‘public health catastrophe’ in order to suppress scandal over nuclear tests carried out by the West since the 1950s. Kate Brown talks to Aro Velmet about the secret history of radiation and what Chernobyl means in the era of climate change.
Authors writing about the Anthropocene and the Chernobyl disaster alike tend to slip into millennial scales and metaphysics. Historian Kate Brown suggests getting down to the particulars: the dates, facts and fate of people most directly confronted with the new radioactive reality.
The global expansion of higher education allows work traditionally reserved for the West to be done more cheaply and just as well in emerging nations, write Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder. The result is that the wages and working conditions of western employees no longer set the global benchmark.