Jana Johansson graduated with a PhD from Stockholm University in 2017. She is now Associate Professor at Linköping University. Photo: Stella Papadopoulou

Jana Johansson, who is currently an Associate Professor at Linköping University, was a PhD student and later Researcher at the Department of Environmental Science.  She is also the host of a new podcast, produced in collaboration with Stockholm University, where she is shedding light on the history of environmental pollution and the ongoing efforts to manage it.

The new podcast “The People Behind the Alarms” (”Människorna Bakom Larmen”) delves into the early days of environmental research, covering both the history and current state of environmental policy, diplomacy, and government work. The podcast’s first episode focuses on PFAS, a group of chemicals that Johansson has extensively researched.

Johansson hopes that the podcast will encourage people to look beyond the media’s focus on individual health problems and consider the bigger picture of how chemicals end up in and spread through nature. She also wants to explore the questions of why we use chemicals, how we find out which ones are harmful, and how we can reduce the emissions of harmful substances.

“With this podcast, I want to help listeners understand the bigger picture,” says Jana Johansson. “Why do we use chemicals? How do we find out which ones have harmful properties? How is that knowledge used? What environmental problems have been solved and how did it happen? Why can’t we just ban everything that poses a risk?” says Johan Johansson.

Johansson points out that many discoveries about environmental toxins were made in Sweden and that she was surprised to find that there was no coherent public program or book that tells the story of environmental pollution in a way that is accessible to everyone.

The podcast is produced by Lars In de Betou, a media producer at the Communications Department, Stockholm University.

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Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11