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Engineers and scientists have made great progress in advancing the understanding of the principles underlying environmental quality and public health. However, all too often, society and the scientific community do not realize the connections between environmental occurrences. In their haste to remedy a situation, they overlook lessons that could be learned to prevent future disasters. Paying attention to the past instructs us about the future. Paradigms Lost combines the historical case perspective with credible and sound scientific explanations of key environmental disasters and problems. The author sorts through natural disasters and human mistakes from Love Canal, New York to Bhopal, India to provide larger lessons that can be applied by scientists, engineers and public safety officials. The analysis of these events includes viable alternatives for future generations.
Dan Vallero is an internationally recognized expert in the transport, chemical transformation and environmental fate of hazardous pollutants. His three decades of professional experience in hazardous waste engineering and management have included research, teaching and regulatory advice related to a wide range of human health risk and ecological issues, from global climate change to the release of hazardous products of incomplete combustion from waste incinerators to the assessment of the risks from exposures to environmental endocrine disruptors. Dr. Vallero recently established the Engineering Ethics program at Duke University. This innovative program introduces students to the complex relationships between science, technology and societal demands on the engineer. The lessons learned from the cases in this book are a fundamental part of Duke's preparation of its future engineers to address the ethical dilemmas likely to be encountered during the careers of the next generation engineers.