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Environmental justice expert to speak at Lehigh Jan. 24

Kristin Shrader-Frechette

Kristin Shrader-Frechette, an internationally distinguished authority on environmental justice, will discuss “Death in the Commons: How We Cause Environmental Injustice and How to Stop It” at a lecture on January 24 at 4 p.m. in Linderman Library, Room 200.

The lecture is part of the ongoing Humanities Center Lecture Series, which focuses on New Bethlehem: Urban Utopias, Dystopias and Transformations.

A professor in the Department of Biological Science and Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Shrader-Frechette’s research focuses on scientific method, on ethical theory, and on ethical issues related to technological risks and their environmental consequences. She holds degrees or post-docs in mathematics, philosophy of science, biology, economics, and hydrogeology.

Shrader-Frechette has spent decades studying and advising communities in many nations on quantitative risk assessment, as well as environmental hazards and just responses to those hazards. Her expertise can offer an important perspective on issues related to industrial and post-industrial cities such as Bethlehem.

“As the people of Bethlehem consider the future of our city during this period of rapid transformation, we will face important environmental challenges—including those having to do with the legacy and after-effects of industrial pollution in our community, and the many complex environmental issues raised by developing a large, formerly industrial site in an urban center,” said Seth Moglen, interim director of the Humanities Center and an organizer of the South Side Initiative, both of which sponsored Shrader-Frechette’s visit.

Shrader-Frechette has addressed the National Academies of Science in three different countries and has served as an advisor to numerous governments and international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The National Science Foundation has funded her research for 27 years.

“All of us—teachers and students, residents and business owners, politicians, town planners and developers—have much to learn from experts like Kristin Shrader-Frechette about what it means to address such challenges in a just way that distributes benefits, burdens and responsibilities fairly,” said Moglen.

The lecture is additionally sponsored by the Environmental Initiative, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Political Science, Science and Technology Studies and the Science and Environmental Writing Program.

--Tricia Long

Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008

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