The opening keynote at the Anthropocene Campus Philadelphia was Prof. Max Liboiron: How We Do Science on Permanent Plastic Pollution.
Max Liboiron is a feminist environmental scientist, science and technology studies (STS) scholar, and activist. As an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Liboiron directs Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist, anti-colonial laboratory that specializes in grassroots environmental monitoring of marine plastic pollution. Liboiron’s STS work focuses on how invisible yet harmful emerging phenomena such as toxicants from marine plastics become apparent in science and activism, and how these methods of representation relate to action. Liboiron also runs Discard Studies, an interdisciplinary hub for research on waste and wasting. An in-progress manuscript builds on this related work to articulate pollution as a form of colonialism.
Max also contributed a gallery show Cod Objects (Ingestion Study), a series of digital photographs from 2016 showing the microscopic plastic objects ingested by cod in the Atlantic Ocean around Newfoundland.
As part of my work as the Socratic roving plenarist, I got to sit down with Max on the second day of the gathering and have a dialog about the particular effects of plastics in the anthropocene as well as some discussion about how we might “queer the anthropocene.”