S. Bocking (Salmon farm, north of Campbell River, May 2009)

Stephen Bocking

Professor and Chair
Environmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University

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The Science and Politics of Salmon Aquaculture

In 2007 I began a new project on the interactions between environmental science and politics, focusing on controversies involving salmon aquaculture, especially in British Columbia. I am approaching this from two directions: an examination of the environmental history of the science of salmon aquaculture; and a comparative analysis of the roles of science in aquaculture controversies in British Columbia, Maine, Scotland and Norway. A special focus of this project is also on understanding the status of situated scientific practice in the context of a transnational industry.

This research is being funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant, with additional funding from Genome British Columbia.

Several papers have now appeared (and more are in preparation):

"Science, Salmon, and Sea Lice: Constructing Practice and Place in an Environmental Controversy,” Journal of the History of Biology, published online 19 August 2011, DOI 10.1007/s10739-011-9299-z. 36 pp..

"Farming Salmon in a Crowded Wilderness: Exploring the History of Aquaculture Science in British Columbia, Canada," in: G. Massard-Guilbaud & S. Mosley, eds., Common Ground: Integrating the Social and Environmental in History, (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).

"Mobile Knowledge and the Media: The Movement of Scientific Information in the Context of Environmental Controversy," Public Understanding of Science, published online 5 December 2010. DOI: 10.1177/0963662510389977.

"Salmon Aquaculture: Prospects for Effective Science in an Environmental Controversy" Aquaculture Canada Annual Meeting, Proceedings of Contributed Papers, AAC Special Publication No. 15, 2009: 14-17.

"Wild or Farmed? Seeking Effective Science in a Controversial Environment" Spontaneous Generations, Vol. 1(1), 2007: 48-57.

To see a short video about this project, go to:

Conference presentations:

"Salmon Aquaculture and Sea Trout: A Controversial Chapter in European Marine Environmental History" American Society for Environmental History, Madison, Wisconsin, March 2012.

"Salmon Aquaculture: Exploring the Science and Politics of a Controversial Industry" Life Sciences Seminar, Trent University, November 2011.

"Science, Salmon, and Sea Lice: Constructing Practice and Place in an Environmental Controversy" Transdisciplinary Research-in-Progress Seminar, Trent University, March 2011.

"Science, Salmon, and Environmental Organizations: Constructing Green Knowledge?” American Society for Environmental History, Portland, March 2010.

"Putting Facts in Place: Science, Salmon, and the Construction of Space in an Environmental Controversy," Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association, Quebec City, September 2009.

"Local Knowledge in a Global Industry: The Formation and Movement of the Science of Salmon Aquaculture," World Congress of Environmental History, Copenhagen, August 2009.

"Salmon Aquaculture: Prospects for Effective Science in an Environmental Controversy" Aquaculture Association of Canada, Nanaimo, May 2009.

"Situated Science and Cross-Border Communication: A Case Study of Aquaculture Controversies" Second European Communication Research Conference (ECREA), Barcelona, November 2008.

"Situating the Social and the Environmental in the History of Aquaculture Science" Conference on Common Ground, Converging Gazes - Integrating the Social and Environmental in History, Paris, September 2008.