Friday, December 17, 2010

Pollution, Economics and STS Ngrams

My turn for some Ngrams (with the disclaimers about interpreting the results pointed out by Andrew Norton in mind).  First up we have the rise of the term 'pollution' in the 1960s, against 'nuisance', 'smog' and 'smoke' - the operative terms of 19th.  Lots of interesting things about this one. Rise of 'smoke' and 'nuisance' with Industrialization in the 19th Century, then its replacement with Pollution, primarily in the United States with the New Social Movements.  It was during the post-war welfare states that power generation and heavy industries moved away from population centres, used higher chimneys (leading to Acid Rain)

Second, Environemental Economics as a discipline co-inciding more or less with the oil shocks.  Their contributions to concepts of market failure and externalities would appear to be more modest than expected.  The peak in citations of Acid Rain gives Environmental Economics a shot in the arm and criticisms of 'Neoliberalism' follow.  I'm not suggesting a strong causal relationship between the last two, just noting the lag

And finally some discipline-specific musings

Stavins the heaviest hitter of Neoclassical Environmental Economics vs. Larry Lohmann - the standard bearer of Polanyian critique of capitalism and elite regimes of accumulation.  Astonishingly, Stavins has confessed on his blog to never having read Lohmann's work.

On to Science and Technology Studies.  Latour the clear winner here with Simon Schaffer a distant second

And some notable women in the field.  Haraway and Sandra Harding leading the field.