June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Engineering and Public Policy
23.1149.1 - 23.1149.16
Teaching social topics in engineering: The case of energy policy and libertyThe purpose of this paper is to explore how the critical analysis of social goals linked toengineering can be taught in the engineering classroom. An examination of the interconnectionbetween liberty and energy, focusing on the policy and ethical underpinnings will be used as anillustration. Public policy is an increasingly important topic in the engineering educationcurriculum. However, curricular innovations in this area are still in their infancy. Curricularinnovation includes both what is taught as well as how it is taught. The substantive contributionof this paper is twofold: first to demonstrate a critical analysis of social policy as it affectsengineering, specifically the social goals and ethical implications of the concept of liberty whenapplied to energy policy, and second to discuss how this critical analysis can be taught in theengineering classroom.In this paper, we analyze a subset of policies related to the global grand challenge area of energy;a topic that pertains to several engineering disciplines. Policies will be analyzed across time todetermine how energy policy affects liberty by preventing or failing to prevent interference byothers in energy generation, distribution, and access. These energy policies limit or extend anindividual’s free action for various reasons such as assuring the affordance of minimum needs,protecting national security, and promoting specific energy markets. We will use the works of anumber of scholars including Isaiah Berlin, Deborah Stone, Val Hawks and Joseph Ekstrom todelve into the connection between energy and liberty. We will discuss negative liberty, whereexternal interference in individual or market activity is limited, as well as examine the restrictionof free action in the energy market by the law to limit harms such as physical injury, suffering,loss of resources, amenity effects, emotional harm, psychological harm, spiritual harm, moralharm, and harms done by solutions.We will then discuss how engineering educators could create curricular innovations such asmodules, courses, or experiential education to teach this material and provide suggestions for thesuccess of such innovations.
Chong, R. C., & Depew, D. R., & Ngambeki, I. B., & Dark, M. J. (2013, June), Teaching social topics in engineering: The case of energy policy and social goals Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22534
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