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BS/MEng Mechanical Engineering
Clifton Park NY

Sustainability Ethics

Alissa Anderson on Monday, 16 May 2011. Posted in Coursework

In the latest University News podcast, author Wade Robinson discusses the book “Sustainability Ethics: 5 Questions” – which is a compilation of essays written by international sustainability leaders responding to the following “5 Questions” 

• Why is “sustainability” a contested concept?

• How is your preferred definition of sustainability better than alternative accounts?

• What is sustainability ethics, and how does it differ from more established forms of applied ethics, such as environmental ethics and business ethics?

• What unique contributions can the discipline of philosophy make toward enhancing our understanding of what sustainability is and how sustainable goals can be accomplished?

• What are the most important topics of future inquiry that sustainability theorists need to investigate?

In the podcast Robinson discusses the definition of “sustainability” – he describes it as the ability to live and innovate to meet today’s needs without compromising the future. Specifically, he points to engineers to design with the future in mind, creating applications and solutions that will benefit the current time and leave room for improvement in the future.

Perhaps I have been lost in the RIT cloud of sustainability – the subject has such a huge influence on the RIT campus that it has become second nature to my schooling. I found the Robinson podcast to be very inspiring for student engineers. The speech uncovered a new side to the subject: the idea that students today should be learning not only how to solve problems today but also how to solve problems tomorrow – how to think in real time in addition to thinking about the future. The recording has given me a new theory to think about this summer and possibly a new approach to my course work in the fall.


Full Podcast: