Research Products

Editors: Diane P. Michelfelder, Byron Newberry, and Qin Zhu
(Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017.)

This volume, the result of an ongoing bridge building effort among engineers and humanists, addresses a variety of philosophical, ethical, and policy issues emanating from engineering and technology. Interwoven through its chapters are two themes, often held in tension with one another: “Exploring Boundaries” and “Expanding Connections.” “Expanding Connections” highlights contributions that look to philosophy for insight into some of the challenges engineers face in working with policy makers, lay designers, and other members of the public. It also speaks to reflections included in this volume on the connections between fact and value, reason and emotion, engineering practice and the social good, and, of course, between engineering and philosophy. “Exploring Boundaries” highlights contributions that focus on some type of demarcation. Public policy sets a boundary between what is regulated from what is not, academic disciplines delimit themselves by their subjects and methods of inquiry, and professions approach problems with unique goals and by using concepts and language in particular ways that create potential obstacles to collaboration with other fields. These and other forms of boundary setting are also addressed in this volume. Contributors explore these two themes in a variety of specific contexts, including engineering epistemology, engineers’ social responsibilities, engineering and public policy-making, engineering innovation, and the affective dimensions of engineering work. The book also includes analyses of social and ethical issues with emerging technologies such as 3-D printing and its use in medical applications, as well as social robots. Initial versions of the invited papers included in this book were first presented at the 2014 meeting of the Forum on Philosophy, Engineering, and Technology (fPET), held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. The volume furthers fPET’s intent of extending and developing the philosophy of engineering as an academic field, and encouraging conversation, promoting a sense of shared enterprise, and building community among philosophers and engineers across a diversity of cultural backgrounds and approaches to inquiry.

Authors: Roel Snieder and Jen Schneider
(Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016.)

We live in an age where working in science or engineering offers tremendous professional opportunities – the pace of scientific development is truly breathtaking. Yet many researchers struggle with the pressures of the fast-paced academic workplace, and struggle to harmonize their work and personal lives. The result can be burnout, exhaustion, and stress on a personal level, and difficulty in recruiting and retaining talented, diverse people to science and engineering. This book, written for graduate students and researchers at all stages of their careers, aims to help scientists by identifying and questioning the core beliefs that drive a culture of overwork, and provides real-world examples and exercises for those wishing to do things differently. Written in a lively, narrative style, and including interview excerpts from practicing scientists, social scientists, and engineers, this book serves as a guide for those seeking to practice the seven traits of the joyful scientist.

Editor: Carl Mitcham

Dr. Carl Mitcham has edited a reference that seeks to emphasize the ethical and philosophical questions that arise in the fields and endeavors of science and technology. The entries are largely devoted to four main themes: types of science and technology; approaches to ethics; types of science, technology, and ethics interactions; and historical and cultural contexts. Eight introductory essays provide overviews of central issues in society’s relationship with science and technology as well as in the study of ethics in these fields. Many entries are devoted to ethics and a particular field, for example, archaeology, architecture, bioethics, communication, engineering, journalism, and medicine. National, religious, and philosophic perspectives are a common entry topic, and many of the entries are biographical. Each entry is signed and includes an annotated list of bibliography. Most of the contributors are academics, teaching in a wide range of subjects, mainly in the US. This is a thought-provoking and timely resource that will be useful to the interested public as well as undergraduate students.

Authors: Roel Sneider and Ken Larner
(Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.)

This is a hands-on guide for graduate students and young researchers wishing to perfect the practical skills needed for a successful research career. By teaching junior scientists to develop effective research habits, the book helps to make the experience of graduate study a more efficient and rewarding one. This book is an outgrowth of the notes for the graduate course, “The Art of Science,” taught by the authors at Colorado School of Mines and highly rated and appreciated by students over the years. A sample curriculum, which parallels the curriculum followed in the authors’ course, is available in the book as Appendix B, and as an online resource. This sample is offered as a possible starting point for instructors in graduate schools wanting to teach a similar course at their university.

Topics covered in the book include: choosing a research topic, department, and advisor; making workplans; the ethics of research; using scientific literature; perfecting oral and written communication; publishing papers; writing proposals; managing time effectively; and planning a scientific career and applying for jobs in research and industry. The wealth of advice is invaluable to students, junior researchers and mentors in all fields of science, engineering, and the humanities.