John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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What is civic expertise in environmental health? Queries about the Ambassad’Air experiment in Rennes Volume 17, issue 5, September-October 2018

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Author
Université de Rennes, CNRS, ESO [(Espaces et Sociétés)] - UMR 6590
Place du recteur Henri Le Moal
CS 24307
F35000 Rennes
France
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As part of the Ambassad’Air program in Rennes (Brittany), volunteers receive individual devices to measure the air quality in their homes and as they move around the city. The article draws on the public communication documents related to this program to describe it and to consider the concept of civic expertise used to characterize these volunteers’ contribution to local outdoor air quality policy. It applies a sociological perspective and therefore does not address the issues of the metrological validity of the records or their contribution to the monitoring of air quality. Instead it analyzes this operation as a form of mediation between inhabitants’ ordinary perceptions of pollution, the air quality measurements by professionals, and the city's air policy, the success of which depends on the capacity of volunteers to develop specific expertise that allows them to interact with the different stakeholders.

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