A "Public Inspired Science" Graduate Training Program
This video discusses the "Public Inspired Science" training program at Virginia Tech that has led to data exposing environmental injustices in several locations. The program aims to create a culture in which altruistic ethical actors learn street smarts and coping strategies so that they can uphold their aspiration and duty to protect the public welfare.
The goals of this project include:
• Retain and train altruistic, ethical engineers who seek and speak the truth — especially when doing so is unpopular
• Acknowledge and overcome barriers to ethical practice (i.e., personal bias, perverse incentives, institutional corruption, shunning)
• Understand historical dangers of ill-informed academic activism, but also learn effective “last resort” strategies for whistleblowing
• Generate valid scientific data, oftentimes in direct collaboration with the public, to assist stakeholders in evaluating complex problems
• Cultivate engineering ethics “street smarts” and coping strategies through case studies and engagement with unfolding public dilemmas