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Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020048

Measuring Micrometers of Matter and Inventing Indices: Entangling Social Perception within Discrete and Continuous Measurements of Air Quality

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract

Environmental protection agencies around the globe are establishing different methods for measuring particulates, and then integrating those measurements into a single air quality index with other pollutants. At the same time, scientific inquiry has also shifted to a theory of measurement that incorporates discrete and continuous measurement. This article reviews the relationship between discrete measurements and indices, while also speculating on the way that the continuous measurement of air pollution could stimulate awareness and action. The paper argues that continuous measurement must include the way people of different backgrounds perceive air pollution in their lives. After reviewing the methods of measuring particulates and their inclusion into various indices, the article argues that in order to take action to mitigate the health impacts of air pollution, we must allow for the social perception of air pollution to become entangled within our scientific measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental monitoring; air quality index; atmospheric science; measurement theory; participatory science; particulate matter environmental monitoring; air quality index; atmospheric science; measurement theory; participatory science; particulate matter
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Schmitt, E. Measuring Micrometers of Matter and Inventing Indices: Entangling Social Perception within Discrete and Continuous Measurements of Air Quality. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 48.

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