Is California Exceptional? - An EU perspective

Is California Exceptional? – An EU perspective

Is California Exceptional? – An EU perspective

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Location: 126 Voorhies

Environmental Health Issues Regulation in US and in Europe, a comparative study Francis Chateauraynaud and Josquin Debaz School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris)

With the emergence of new models of health hazards evaluation , integrating low-dose and long term effects, complex exposures, mixture toxicology or multiple causalities, new questions have raised for risk management and risk assessment during the last two decades. US and European cultural and political contexts drive to different approaches and tools to deal with weak signals or new alarms, expertise and counter-expertise confrontations, and in some situations, with political conflicts, as GMOs or nuclear issues have shown in Europe. In relation with the French Agency for food, environmental and occupational health & safety (ANSES), our research analyzes the transformations of scientific expertise in a large series of topics, from radioactivity, food additives and contaminants, to electromagnetic waves and nanoparticles, and so on and so forth.

By looking closely to public controversies and to different forms of conflict, a pragmatist sociology provides analytical tools to understand the complex processes through which the so-called “risk society”evolves. The panelists will discuss how their survey among health and environment experts and researchers milieu in Washington DC and in California helps unframe our prior European perspective.

Francis Chateauraynaud is a senior researcher, director of the Groupe de Sociologie Pragmatique et Réflexive (Group of Pragmatic and Reflexive Sociology), located in the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (Paris). As a sociologist he has developed many works on risk issues, public controversies and fields of expertise. As a computer scientist, he has co-developed different scientific software, especially designed for argumentative analysis based on long run text data bases.

Josquin Debaz is a junior researcher at Groupe de Sociologie Pragmatique et Rélexive from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Historian and sociologist of science, he is involved in Health and Environment studies especially on electromagnetic waves health effects. He participates also to the development of socio-informatics tools.

This event is the keynote lecture in a series of public events in connection with the California Cultures Initiatives current research seminar, “CA Exceptionalism? Conversations on Environment, Health and Risk,” convened by Julie Sze (American Studies) and Tom Beamish (Sociology). This series explores California exceptionalism and its manifestation in attempts to manage climate change and assure democracy, issues of food and health, and bodies and justice in an interdisciplinary and comparative context.

Get the event flyer here.

This event is sponsored by the California Cultures Initiative at the UC Davis Humanities Institute.

For more information please contact:

Center for History, Society, and Culture Davis Humanities Institute

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