Program officer Gregory Hargreaves interviews Dr. Rebecca Altman about her research into the intimate history of synthetic materials, industrial chemistry, & the human body. Altman, an environmental sociologist, has made extensive use of the Hagley Library’s vast collection of digitized materials available worldwide at digital.hagley.org. Cattle drinking from a creek near the Ohio River ingest PFAS and become unwitting agents for the circulation of synthetic materials through the natural world. The legacies of industrial chemistry lace together society and the environment, making synthetic materials such as plastic an ideal location to study the historical relationship that exists between social and natural forces. Altman combines research from across archives to piece together a story of chemical legacies within and all around us.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.
Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-rebecca-altman.
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout. .
Carol Ressler Lockman