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Contesting the science: public health knowledge in an environmental protest

Harrop, Emily ORCID:, Elliott, Eva ORCID: and Williams, Gareth Howard 2009. Contesting the science: public health knowledge in an environmental protest. Presented at: BSA Medical Sociology Group 41st Annual Conference, Manchester, UK, 4 September 2009.

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In recent years traditional approaches to the assessment of health hazards have struggled to connect with the concerns of local communities, resulting in disputes over the interpretation of risk. The Nant-y-Gwyddon (NyG) landfill site in the Rhondda Fawr, south Wales, was shut down in March 2002 on the recommendations of an Independent Investigation, following 5 years of concerted and highly publicised protest action by a group calling itself Rhondda Against Nantygwyddon Tip (RANT). This local environmental protest provides an interesting case study in the sociology of public health risks. The research aims to explore the key processes and relationships involved in the evaluation of perceived threats to public health in the period up to the closure of the tip in 2002. Rich documentary data forms the primary evidence for the case-study, and this is used for two main purposes: first, to construct an historical account of the protest focusing specifically on the actions and perspectives of the residents who became local activists; and secondly, to explore the positioning of the main actors in relation to some of the key issues and events. This paper will discuss preliminary findings in relation to activists’ engagement with scientific research and expertise.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Last Modified: 05 Nov 2022 15:19

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