The nexus between cyanobacteria and the publics they were gathering around them, combined with the RELU grant, offered the opportunity to think carefully in the LCP about the agency of matter (in the first instance, matter such as P and cyanobacteria) and to work out what such a refocusing means for agency, responsibility, and collective environmental politics.
Within the LCP the research team of the RELU project (one sociologist of science, two human geographers, three ecologists, and a farmer, who took turns in facilitating debates within meetings) made particular efforts to make sure different voices were heard and listened to, and encouraged agonism and argument as part of the ongoing politics and debate.
As part of the LCP investigations, John Rockliffe, a local agricultural consultant, had been commissioned by the RELU researchers to carry out a farm interview survey with all farmers in the catchment (Rockliffe, 2009).
As part of the RELU programme, the Loweswater experiment was partly concerned with interdisciplinarity: for our project this entailed the idea that it might be possible to highlight the significance of STS and posthumanist approaches within an in situ, ongoing case of environmental politics and catchment management.
This study was funded by the Joint Research Councils UK through its RELU programme as part of the project 'Understanding and Acting in Loweswater: Testing a Community Approach to Catchment Management' (2007-2010).