1 As Marilyn Strathern predicted (1992).

2 As if scientists were not also humans, and science not also a social endeavour; see Jensen and Blok 2019.

3 The geological sciences, they argue, might in fact provide a different sort of image to collapse: ‘the very configuration of the earth into a single, integrated system in the newly dynamic earth sciences has been the condition of a more dis-integrated, fractious and multiple vision of the planet (N. Clark, 2016). p10’ (Clark and Yusoff 2017).

4 Though Ghosh does cite Morton.

5 Harman was one of the main proponents of OOO, which became very popular in the early 2000s, and spawned a large online discussion and following.

6 See also Waterton and Yusoff’s notion of ‘indeterminacy’, which captures a space that ‘exceeds classification’ (2017: 9).

7 Strongly inspired by the symbiogenetic theory proposed by the American biologist Lynn Margulis (1991), Haraway builds upon the term symbiogenesis and its capability to capture the notion that evolutionary biological novelty arises not just from Darwinian descent with modification, but also through the symbiotic fusion of diverse types of cells and organisms (see Helmreich 2014).

8 Here we do not intend to discuss Gaia scholarship in detail. For further recent discussions about it see Jensen and Blok 2019, Latour et al. 2019, among many others.

9 See also Viveiros de Castro 2019 for an interpretation of Amerindian thought in this vein.

10 It should be noted that this shift presupposes a reciprocal, generative self-contradiction between the two, rather than a renewed opposition between nature-culture divides. As Wagner writes, ‘Nature… is a cultural concept, but culture itself is a natural fact. All this means, however, is that culture is a self-differentiating variable; in chiasmatic terms the contradiction is revealed; culture is the difference between itself and nature; nature is the similarity between the two (2018: 508).

11 As we revise this introduction (January 2021), our planet has dramatically changed due to the emergence of Covid-19. This introduction, as well as the chapters and the conversations, were written before this pandemic moment. In this context, we have witnessed the rise of anti-scientific thinking, which has subsequently triggered diverse pro-science mobilisations. As scholars inspired by anthropology and science and technology studies, we feel the urgency of not going back to holist understandings of Science, with a capital S, but to reveal, once again, the relevance of the situatedness of scientific practices. Even if an exploration of this new planetary scene goes far beyond the aims and the scopes of this book, we hope that the ‘chiasmatic’ spirit of our intervention, instantiated in the concept of ‘environmental alterities’, can potentially contribute to keeping in circulation the fact that science is a set of situated practices, continuously and chiasmatically evolving.


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