Montana made headlines on Wednesday for being the first state in the nation to ban the social media app, TikTok. U.S. officials claim the application is a national security concern, while critics call the ban a violation of the First Amendment. Challenges to the new law may take place before it goes into effect in January, but its ability to gather enough support to pass could point to a new precedent being set.View More The Implications of a Social Media Ban in Montana
Redefining Societal Progress for Engineers
Dr. Erin Cech’s critique of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges focuses heavily on the pitfalls of technological determinism. This paper supports Cech’s argument through a discussion of current examples of the consequences of technological determinism, such as the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements, medication accessibility, and facial recognition technology. Though the consequences of a zealous engineering mentality are commonplace in our society, there are also current examples of tech companies neglecting to develop technology due to its possible negative consequences.View More Redefining Societal Progress for Engineers
How the Technical Sciences and the Social Sciences Should Go Hand-in-Hand
The fourteen Grand Challenges presented by the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) fail to involve ethics as a part of the solution to these issues. Traditionally, engineers have kept their work separate from its societal implications. Engineers and their non-technical counterparts have an obligation to view all technical solutions under the moral lens of ethicists and futurists. Going forward, engineers must be aware of their limits and work with experts outside of their fields to develop solutions that will be cognizant of society as a whole.View More How the Technical Sciences and the Social Sciences Should Go Hand-in-Hand
The Lies We Tell to Inspire: Responding to the Engineering Double Standard
The National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges are critiqued by Dr. Erin Cech for what she describes as a double standard in engineering. Though Cech rightly discusses a lack of accountability and acknowledgement within the profession, her argument lacks nuance. The Grand Challenges were ultimately a promotional tool meant to inspire the next generation of engineers, yet Cech holds them to a standard of being professional rules and guidelines. This paper will discuss the distinctions that Cech’s argument lacks, including placing an unreasonable amount of responsibility on engineers and overstating their influence.View More The Lies We Tell to Inspire: Responding to the Engineering Double Standard
Technological Determinism in the Grand Challenges
Technological determinism is denounced by Dr. Erin Cech in her critique of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges report. This discussion focuses on the strengths of Cech’s argument surrounding the engineering double standard in social media, virtual reality, and reverse-engineering the brain. Though she makes many strong arguments, pieces of Cech’s argument fall short. Pointing fingers at the entirety of the engineering community and holding the Grand Challenges to a standard for which they were not intended weaken Cech’s overall discussion. However, her argument is ultimately a valid discussion of a profession that would benefit from wider perspectives in a world full of complex issues.View More Technological Determinism in the Grand Challenges
The Grand Challenges: Authorial Particularism and a Lost Opportunity for an Equitable Society
The fourteen Grand Challenges were developed by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in an effort to expose future generations to the wide range of innovation and technology that they could one day take part in. As detailed by the Challenges’ creators, the list includes challenges that are most significant to our current world. Dr. Erin Cech’s critique of the Grand Challenges is that a lack of diversity in the panel of engineering experts led to a lack of oversight into issues that are actually pertinent to developing nations. Cech’s argument that the Grand Challenges are a missed opportunity for social justice holds validity, but her mischaracterization of the lack of diversity requires further consideration.View More The Grand Challenges: Authorial Particularism and a Lost Opportunity for an Equitable Society
Electric Vehicles: Climate Saver?
Hosts Maya and Josh discuss the ethics of lithium battery mining and electric vehicle use with a panel of engineering essayists.View More Electric Vehicles: Climate Saver?