Rebecca Altman
Environmental Sociologist and Writer

Rebecca Altman has a PhD in environmental sociology. She is writing an intimate history of plastics, a hybrid memoir-sociology of the material her father once made. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Written by Rebecca Altman

‘Ground zero for PFAS pollution.’ The DuPont Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Photographed on 28 October 2015. Photo by Maddie McGarvey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Time-bombing the future

Synthetics created in the 20th century have become an evolutionary force, altering human biology and the web of life

Rebecca Altman

Union Carbide plant. Photo by Philip Gould /Corbis

Essay/
Chemistry
American petro-topia

The genius and hubris of plastic has been absorbed by every living thing. Is it a curse or evolution’s next step?

Rebecca Altman