Edge Prize 2018: Manuel Tironi and Israel Rodríguez-Giralt


Below is the 2018 David Edge prize announcement from the 4S website:


The winner of the 2018 David Edge prize is Manuel Tironi and Israel Rodríguez-Giralt’s “Healing, knowing, enduring: Care and politics in damaged worlds,” published in 2017 by The Sociological Review.

In their article, Tironi and Rodríguez-Giralt study “how care is invoked by activist groups and local citizens in their search for ethical recognition and environmental justice in Puchuncaví, Chile.” They thereby bring together two STS literatures that often inhabit separate spheres: scholarship on the analytic of care and research on environmental justice in toxic landscapes. Mobilizing care enables questions of environmental justice in Puchuncaví to be transformed: the scholar’s role is no longer to highlight marginalized knowledges in technoscientific disaster sites, but to listen to the attempts by the workers of this Chilean copper smelting plant to endure as ethical subjects.

People in Puchuncaví are victims of what Tironi and Rodríguez-Giralt call an “uncaring choreography”: they are not only exposed to extremely high levels of toxicity, but also neglected and abandoned by the institutions supposed to protect them. This article shows how they resist, through self-care and mutual support—exemplified by the therapeutics of group meetings held by former smelting plant workers demanding compensation—as well as through domestic care, as a mode of knowing and acting upon their harmed bodies and environments.

Reading residents’ activities through the lens of care allows the authors to “revisit what activism means in sacrifice zones like Puchuncaví, and to examine the implications and relevance of care practices in the provocation of politics.” Tironi and Rodríguez-Giralt thus reflect on how scholars participate in the complex choreography of care and, ultimately, call attention to the importance of  “stand[ing] ‘in the presence of’ those upon which we exert our good intentions.” Arguing for a politics of scholarly engagement that is at once analytical and affective, the paper makes a crucial contribution to discussions about STS scholarship as a mode of intervention.

Tironi and Rodríguez-Giralt’s article was selected from 58 nominees, published in a wide range of high-quality international journals. This exceptionally large pool of candidates included provocative and important contributions that represented the breadth and depth of STS scholarship. We are pleased to honor the winning paper as among the best of what STS has to offer, and recommend it as a humbling, worthwhile, and moving read.

2018 Edge Prize Committee: Gwen Ottinger, Drexel University, USA (Council Member, chair), Teun Zuiderent-Jerak, Linköping University, Sweden (Council Member), and Erika Szymanski, University of Edinburgh, UK (Student Representative to Council)



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Created date

July 31, 2018

Critical Commentary

Manuel Tironi and Israel Rodríguez-Giralt’s “Healing, knowing, enduring: Care and politics in damaged worlds,” published in 2017 by The Sociological Review is the winner of the 2018 David Edge prize, awarded by Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

To read an interview between Tironi and his academic institution about the prize, click here.



Group Audience