Crowdsourcing light pollution data: A means of infrastructure awareness?

Crowdsourcing infrastructure data/awareness?

Discard Studies

The Globe at Night project  is an international citizen-science campaign to measure the impact of light pollution. It invites citizen-scientists (aka: you) to measure their night sky brightness and  submit their observations  from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution is often left out of discussions about waste and discards, possibly because of its un-material, non-toxic status. Yet, if waste is broadly defined as the externalities of social-technical systems, then light that exceeds its use or that effects areas outside of designed intentions certainly qualifies as waste. Light pollution is usually defined as “excessive, misdirected, or obtrusive artificial” (usually outdoor) light. Too much light pollution has consequences: it washes out starlight in the night sky, interferes with astronomical research, disrupts ecosystems )particularly nocturnal animals), has adverse health effects (particularly circadian rhythms) and wastes energy. There is even something called “ light trespass ,” where light shone onto a property prevents the owner from…

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About Nicholas

Associate Professor of Sociology, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies at Penn State, Nicholas mainly writes about understanding the scientific study of states and, thus, it is namely about state theory. Given his training in sociology and STS, he takes a decidedly STS-oriented approach to state theory and issues of governance.

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