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Bodies of the Anthropocene: on the interactive plasticity of earth systems and biological organisms
journal contributionposted on 2021-04-06, 00:00 authored by Maurizio MeloniMaurizio Meloni, R Wakefield-Rann, B Mansfield
The Anthropocene literature has brought attention to the plasticity and porosity of Earth systems under the dramatic impact of human activities. Moving across scales of analysis, this paper focuses attention on anthropogenic effects at the micro-scale of genomic regulation, neuronal functioning and cellular activity. Building on expanding dialogues at the interface of Anthropocene science, biogeography, microbiology and ecotoxicology, we mobilize epigenetic findings to show increasing evidence of anthropogenic changes in plants, animals and human bodies. Treating human-induced changes at the macro-global and micro-biological scales as part of an intertwined process has implications for how these problems are conceptualised and addressed. While we are sceptics about major geo-bio-social syntheses, we believe that agile social-scientific tools can facilitate interaction across disciplines without denying unevenness, and differences. If rightly contextualized in broad anthropological and social science frameworks, biosocial work on epigenetics offers a compelling avenue to make detectable the ‘slow violence’ of everyday pollution, racism, inequalities and the disproportionate impact of the Anthropocene on the poor and vulnerable. Consolidating work at the Anthropocene/biology interface has potential to offer a richer and more complete picture of the present crisis at the macro and micro-scale alike.
Pagination1 - 21
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
CategoriesNo categories selected
Science & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicinePhysical SciencesEnvironmental SciencesEnvironmental StudiesGeosciences, MultidisciplinaryEnvironmental Sciences & EcologyGeologyAnthropocenebiospherebodiesepigeneticsevolutionhealthhuman environmental impactnature-nurtureniche-constructionplasticityCLIMATE-CHANGEPHENOTYPIC PLASTICITYAIR-POLLUTIONDEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITYENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURETRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTSSOCIAL-SCIENCELIFE