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Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide
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Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide
1Gotlieb, Melissa R and Wells, Chris, ‘From Concerned Shopper to Dutiful Citizen: Implications of Individual and Collective Orientations toward Political Consumerism’ (2012) 644Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science207, see especially 209.
2Banaji, Shakuntala and Buckingham, David, ‘The Civic Sell: Young People, the Internet, and Ethical Consumption’ (2009) 12Information, Communication and Society1197, see especially 1200.
3 McCahon and Lavelle analyse the trend toward integration of engineering and business curricula around total quality management but do not consider integration of human rights; see McCahon, Cynthia S and Lavelle, Jerome, ‘Implementation of Cross-disciplinary Teams of Business and Engineering Students for Quality Improvement Projects’ (2010) 73Journal of Education for Business150. The syllabus archive maintained by the Science and Human Rights Coalition of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science lists only one course that integrates engineering and human rights explicitly, http://www.aaas.org/page/syllabi-science-and-human-rights#Engineering (accessed 11 May 2015). Recently, members of the Columbia University Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum (a consortium of 200 professors from 120 institutions in 30 countries) invited the authors of this article to present an April 2015 webinar on cross-disciplinary STEM/human rights teaching in light of the paucity of instruction of this type. See https://web.law.columbia.edu/sso/passcode-login?destination=human-rights-institute/initiatives/global-economy/teaching-business-human-rights (accessed 11 May 2015).
4 At the time we developed this course jointly, both authors were faculty members at the University of Connecticut. MacKay has since relocated to The Ohio State University, but the course analysed in this article is well-suited to team teaching through an online format.
8Locke, Richard M, The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
9Brundtland, Gro Harlem, Our Common Future (New York: UN Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).
10Jelinski, Lynn W, Graedel, Thomas E, Laudise, Robert A, McCall, David W, and Patel, C Kumar N, ‘Industrial Ecology: Concepts and Approaches’ (1992) 89Proceedings of the National Academy of Science793.
11 Closed loop manufacturing incorporates returned products as part of the supply chain. Ehrenfeld, John and Gertler, Nicholas, ‘Industrial Ecology in Practice: The Evolution of Interdependence at Kalundborg’ (1997) 1Journal of Industrial Ecology51.
12 Social upgrading in production entails improving labour practices and skills development in tandem with productivity gains. Barrientos, Stephanie, Gereffi, Gary, and Rossi, Arianna, ‘Economic and Social Upgrading in Global Production Networks: A New Paradigm for a Changing World’ (2011) 150International Labour Review319.
13 Life cycle analysis is a technique used to assess environment impact at all stages of a product’s life, i.e., from ‘cradle to grave’. Hellweg, Stephanie and Milà i Canals, Llorenç, ‘Emerging Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities in Life Cycle Assessment’ (2014) 6188Science1109.
14 The Deming cycle outlines a series of steps for planning, monitoring, and adjusting the production process in order to continuously improve goods or services. Deming, W Edwards, The New Economics (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology-CASE, 1994).
15Rockström, John, Steffen, Will, Noone, Kevin, Persson, Åsa, Chapin III, F Stuart, Lambin, Eric F, Lenton, Timothy M, Scheffer, Marten, Folke, Carl, Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim, Nykvist, Björn, de Wit, Cynthia A, Hughes, Terry, van der Leeuw, Sander, Rodhe, Henning, Sörlin, Sverker, Snyder, Peter K, Costanza, Robert, Svedin, Uno, Falkenmark, Malin, Karlberg, Louise, Corell, Robert W, Fabry, Victoria J, Hansen, James, Walker, Brian, Liverman, Diana, Richardson, Katherine, Crutzen, Paul, and Foley, Jonathan A, ‘A Safe Operating Space for Humanity’ (2009) 461Nature472.
16 Companies selected by our students were: Microsoft (electronics); Unilever (consumer products); Monsanto (biotechnology); and Ford Motor (automotive). Notably, at least one of our students (a chemical engineer) had previously carried out a summer internship in one of these companies (i.e., Unilever) and the group presentation was considerably richer for the on-the-job insights of that student and the student’s familiarity with the application of environmental standards in practice.
* Associate Professor of Political Science and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.
** Professor of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University, USA.
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