The multiple environmental crises our planet is experiencing forces us to change the ways we engage with it, especially the ones developed by scientific disciplines such as toxicology. In particular, widespread degradation should lead us to develop scientific practices that take environmental ruination as a framework condition, not only as an object of analysis. In doing so, we should take into account the practice of science at laboratories located in the peripheries of global science, institutions that have coexisted with extensive environmental and material decay from their very onset. Contributing to this task, this paper analyzes the case of Centro Nacional del Medio Ambiente, an environmental chemistry laboratory located in Santiago, Chile. Established in mid-1990s, decades of continual budget cuts left it in a state of almost terminal ruin. In its struggle to remain relevant, CENMA developed an alternative kind of scientific practice, ruination science. Although always precarious, ruination science also tends to be well adapted to engage with impurity, resilient but fragile, and ethically entangled, prioritizing attachment and compromises over the application of certain standard recipes or procedures. Beyond its particularities, CENMA’s ruination science provides us with several valuable keys to better deal with worlds facing multiple kinds of anthropogenic degradation.
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DOI 10.1177/0162243919900957
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Origin of the Concept Chemical Compound.Ursula Klein - 1994 - Science in Context 7 (2):163-204.

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