Navigation Links
Engineering textbook promotes social justice

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
Binghamton University

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:
(Date:9/28/2015)... According to a new market ... (Scanner & Others), Application (Access Control & Others), Industry ... Geography Global - Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 23.40% between ... data T ables and 66 Figures ...
(Date:9/24/2015)... YORK , Sept. 24, 2015  EyeLock LLC, ... be showcasing its award winning and latest technology in ... Anaheim, California . EyeLock,s iris ... security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most ... EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a fast ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... LONDON , Sept. 10, 2015 ... This New Study Reveals Selling Opportunities and Revenue ... What,s the future of biologics, especially new drug ... You will stay ahead with exclusive market data ... can explore trends, developments, results, opportunities and sales ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the ... commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women,s health, ... the Company,s former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, ... City office.  David A. ... the Company commented, "After a comprehensive review, the Company,s ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Rochelle, Virginia (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 ... ... LLC announced today that Dr. Srini Srinivasan, has joined the firm as a ... expertise and professional stature enable them to bring extraordinary value to the company's ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... 2015 Am 8. Oktober hat die ... für Kalifornien) ihre Würdigung der International Plasma Awareness ... Aufzeichnungen des Kongresses eintragen lassen. Die IPAW wird ... (PPTA) und ihren Mitgliedsunternehmen unterstützt. Ihre Ziele bestehen ... über Plasmaspenden weltweit , Würdigung des Beitrages ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , Oct. 9, 2015  Pulmatrix, Inc., ... presentation at two upcoming investor conferences. th ... at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). --> ... 20, 2015 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). ... James 2015 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, October ...
Breaking Biology Technology: