Second-Guessing Scientists and Engineers: Post Hoc Criticism and the Reform of Practice in Green Chemistry and Engineering

TitleSecond-Guessing Scientists and Engineers: Post Hoc Criticism and the Reform of Practice in Green Chemistry and Engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLynch, W
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Volume21
Issue5
Pagination1217-1240
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
KeywordsCOUNTERFACTUALS , ENGINEERING , ENGINEERS , ENVIRONMENTAL , GREEN , John , SCIENTISTS , SOCIAL , sustainable , WARNER
AbstractThe article examines and extends work bringing together engineering ethics and Science and Technology Studies, which had built upon Diane Vaughan's analysis of the Challenger shuttle accident as a test case. Reconsidering the use of her term 'normalization of deviance,' the article argues for a middle path between moralizing against and excusing away engineering practices contributing to engineering disaster. To explore an illustrative pedagogical case and to suggest avenues for constructive research developing this middle path, it examines the emergence of green chemistry and green engineering. Green chemistry began when Paul Anastas and John Warner developed a set of new rules for chemical synthesis that sought to learn from missed opportunities to avoid environmental damage in the twentieth century, an approach that was soon extended to engineering as well. An integrated perspective is sought, addressing how both technical practice within chemistry and engineering and the influence of a wider 'social movement' can play a role in remedying environmental problems. 
NotesLynch, William 1; Email Address: William.Lynch@wayne.edu; Affiliation: 1: Department of History, Wayne State University, 656 W. Kirby Detroit 48202 USA; Source Info: Oct2015, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p1217; Subject Term: SCIENTISTS; Subject Term: ENGINEERS; Subject Term: ENVIRONMENTAL chemistry -- Industrial applications; Subject Term: SUSTAINABLE engineering; Subject Term: ENGINEERING ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Counterfactuals; Author-Supplied Keyword: Engineering ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: Green chemistry; Author-Supplied Keyword: Green engineering; Author-Supplied Keyword: Social movements; People: WARNER, John; Number of Pages: 24p; Document Type: Article
DOI10.1007/s11948-014-9585-1

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