Focusing exclusively on the UK, the volume weaves together the tales of 19th–century urban smoke observers, early 20th–century visitors to clean–air exhibitions, and modern atmospheric scientists in order to reveal why we know certain things about the qualities of the air we breathe and how this knowledge has shaped collective relations with the atmosphere. In charting this history this volume combines Foucauldian–inspired accounts of the history of government with relevant works on the sociology of scientific knowledge. Utilizing extensive archival materials and informed by scholarly analysis, this groundbreaking work presents the first historical account of the development of a state science of atmospheric pollution.
Series Editors′ Preface.
List of Abbreviations.
1 Introduction: Space, History and the Governing of Air Pollution.
2 Historical Geographies of Science and Government: Exploring the Apparatus of Atmospheric Knowledge Acquisition.
3 Science, Sight and the Optics of Air Government 37
4 Governing Air Conduct: Exhibition, Examination and the Cultivation of the Atmospheric Self.
5 Instrumentation and the Sites of Atmospheric Monitoring.
6 A National Census of the Air: Spatial Science, Calculation and the Geo–Coding of the Atmosphere.
7 Automating the Air: Atmospheric Simulations and Digital Beings.
8 Environmental Governmentalities and the Ecological Coding of the British Atmosphere.
9 Conclusion: Learning Like a State in an Age of Atmospheric Change.
Mark Whitehead s 2009 book State, Science and the Skies constitutes a compelling and important contribution to the RGS IBG Book Series . . . This fascinating book is part of an increasing literature on a much neglected area of study: the role and importance of the atmosphere in our lives (e.g. Jankovic, 2000; Latour, 2003; Strauss and Orlove, 2003; Kessel, 2006; Thornes, 2008) . . . State, Science and the Skies should provide us with an important guide to the geographies of the atmosphere. It is especially helpful in order to cultivate some sense of relief to Sloterdijk s (2009) emphasis on the air as a means of administering death through environmental means. (Geoform, 1 September 2012)