Silicosis: Past, Present, and Future

Thursday, 9 June, 2016 - 13:15

Silicosis: Past, Present, and Future 

Law, History, Sociology, Public Health, and Clinical Research

Since 2014 a small group of scholars at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) along with Prof. Rodney Erlich at the University of Cape Town (UCT), have been working with colleagues at Sciences Po in Paris on and around the theme of “silicosis,” focussing particularly on potential French-South African collaborations on this research. The rise of silicosis in Europe and the Middle East as well as in other parts of the world (particularly in relation to caesarstone manufacture) has occasioned renewed interest in the legal, social, historical, public health, scientific, and pathological aspects of the disease. In November 2014, South Africa-based researchers visited Paris and met with a team of Europe- and Japan-based colleagues; and in November 2015 a small group convened again in Johannesburg. This year, two key members of the Sciences Po team are coming to South Africa for several days to examine archival materials and meet with pathologists, scientists, legal professionals, and activists – as well as to to write up a grant for further collaborations. 

On 9 June 2016, WiSER will host researchers from Wits, UCT, and Sciences Po as they discuss historical, medical, legal, and activist work on silicosis. The aim of the workshop is to produce a research proposal, so while scholars based at Wits, other universities, and interested organisations are welcome to attend, it is not intended to function as a seminar or conference.

The programme is available on request from Catherine Burns: