01. September 2022
Online and In-person presentation at Deakin University
4:00 – 6:00pm
Aotearoa faces an enormous conservation challenge. The country is characterised by swathes of hard-to-access terrain and historic species losses arising from the introduction of rats, cats, and other predators to islands previously free of mammals. Recognising this, successive governments have set ambitious conservation goals, including the Battle for our Birds, and recently Predator Free 2050, a multistakeholder project that aims to eliminate all rats, stoats and possums. Central to these conservation efforts is 1080, an odourless, colourless poison that is hung from sacks on trees, and dusted from helicopters across large tracts of country.
1080 is uniquely controversial in Aotearoa, sparking a measure of protest that was (at least until recently) unusual. Building on Courtney’s chapter in the forthcoming edited book An Anthropogenic Table of Elements (Neale, Addison, and Phan, eds), this paper traces 1080’s uptake and contestation in Aotearoa. Drawing on archival and media material, Courtney shows how the poison draws together military and colonial logics, and is put to the task of securing some species’ lives by propagating death amongst others. She suggests that we think of 1080 as a pharmakon: simultaneously remedy, poison, and scapegoat.
Courtney Addison is a Lecturer in the Centre for Science in Society at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. Her work moves across anthropology and Science and Technology Studies, and medical and environmental topics. Current projects investigate the politics of poisons use in New Zealand conservation, and how information about pharmaceuticals travels between doctors, patients, and pharmacists. With Tim Neale, Kari Lancaster and Matt Kearnes, she is an editor of Science, Technology, & Human Values.
Join us for an in-person gathering at Deakin Waterfront: ad1.122 in the Sally Walker building (click here for the map).
Zoom details available by request: firstname.lastname@example.org