How Low Can It Go?

Field researchers like to talk about the joys of “getting your hands dirty” by immersing yourself in the ongoing social life of a community.  But I’ll bet many researchers would balk at climbing down into sewers to collect their data!

That’s what a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will do when they sample Cambridge sewage water repeatedly between 2015 and 2017, and then in Kuwait City starting in 2017.

Why sewage water, you ask?  It provides unobtrusive data on viruses, bacteria, pollutants and drugs.  How does that measurement strategy strike you?  What problems do you envision? Do you foresee any ethical concerns?

Read more about this ambitious new study in the Boston Globe at

This entry was posted in Chapter 1, Chapter 12, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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