Navigation Links
Engineering textbook promotes social justice
Date:6/28/2010

BINGHAMTON -- Imagine you're an engineer charged with designing an SUV to sell in a third-world country. What sorts of questions might you consider before creating a prototype?

This is a case study from Binghamton University faculty member George Catalano's latest book series, Engineering and Society: Working Towards Social Justice. The books, which Catalano co-authored with Caroline Baillie of the University of Western Australia, encourage engineers to think about the long- and short-term implications of their projects.

"Engineers tend to be good employees," Catalano said. "If people need things designed, we tend to just design them without giving a lot of thought to their applications."

For example, in the SUV scenario, a typical engineer might consider gas prices, current supply and demand, cultural preferences and regional geography to make the product marketable. But Catalano, a professor of bioengineering, believes that it's not enough to consider only such practical factors.

"Our goal is to present a different kind of paradigm for making decisions one that includes all the different parts of society, including the environment, that too often are ignored," he said.

In the case of the third-world SUV, the book asserts that a responsible engineer would ask himself, "Will having SUVs make the citizens more or less able to live their lives freely? Will SUVs affect native or other subpopulations? Will the increased congestion, pollution and dependence on fossil fuels be acceptable? And how will SUV production and use impact ecosystems?"

By considering such questions, Catalano and Baillie write, engineers can create the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Engineering and Society is a three-book series published this year by Morgan & Claypool as part of a larger compilation of books dealing with engineering and society. The books' authors are leading an effort to emphasize humanity and social as well as environmental justice in engineering decision-making.

The movement began in 2004 when Catalano became concerned about the use of engineered devices in the Iraq war, the impacts of engineering on the environment and the lack of very much attention paid to alleviating poverty in the world. Catalano joined with Baillie, then at Queens University, who had been having similar concerns about engineering.

Since then, Catalano has written two other ethics-related books, called Engineering Ethics: Peace, Justice, and the Earth (2006) and Engineering, Poverty, and the Earth (2007).


'/>"/>

Contact: Ryan Yarosh
ryarosh@binghamton.edu
607-777-2174
Binghamton University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. IEEE-USA engineering mass media fellow begins reporting on sci-tech at Voice of America
2. Dean of the UM College of Engineering to receive 2010 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award
3. $400,000 NRC grant to develop nuclear engineering faculty at Clemson
4. Engineering wheat arabinoxylan for new applications
5. Research & Entrepreneurship Day 2010: Engineering Innovation
6. Ultrasound pioneer receives highest award in engineering profession
7. Scientists create artificial human skin with biomechanical properties using tissue engineering
8. Michael Betenbaugh wins 2010 Cell Culture Engineering award
9. Convergent evolution in lignin biosynthesis: Tools for re-engineering biomass composition
10. Tissue engineering, imaging neuronal circuits featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
11. Clemson researcher receives grant to study engineering enrollment of women, minorities
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed ... focused on medical screening and diagnostic applications, ... Wearable devices that facilitate and assure continuous ... movement are being bolstered through new opportunities ... signal acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth ... analysis of the digital and computed radiography markets in ... , and Indonesia (TIM). It ... market size, as well as regional market drivers and ... discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... , February 1, 2016 Rising ... to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ... Rising sales of consumer electronics coupled with new ... market size through 2020   ... coupled with new technological advancements to drive global touchfree ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new ... specialty pharmacy resource–user-centric, story-driven, knowledge-based and mobile-friendly. Visit ... ... ... "The goal was ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... HILL, N.C. , Feb. 5, 2016  In ... key role for a host of launch activities including ... importance of this launch activity is especially high in ... specialists. Best Practices and the Role of ... will help companies focused on oncology therapies find better ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 - New FDA action date of ... FDA action date of July 22, 2016   ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has ... indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye ... potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016 ... critical care immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® ... and cardiac surgery patients around the world, announced ... PhD, will present at the Source Capital Group,s ... overview and update on the company.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: