DANIEL M. TELLEP DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING, EMERITUS
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Ethics, risk and safety are three key aspects of nuclear science and engineering that occur in the pursuit of energy, the detection, treatment and cure of illness, and the need for national security. Professor Ahn, ruminating about the changes in nuclear engineering that took place during his career, raised the questions, “What is a nuclear engineer?” and “What makes a Berkeley Nuclear Engineer different?” In this presentation, I will attempt to provide my own answers from the perspective of ethics, risk and safety.
In particular, I will discuss how our understanding of ethics, risk and safety has changed during the past half-century or so, and how they might change again in the future. In the presentation, I will draw on examples from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, from considerations of high-level radioactive waste disposal and from national security; three issues that Professor Ahn was concerned with during his productive and innovative career.
Professor Kastenberg’s teaching and research interests include science and engineering ethics, risk analysis and nuclear reactor safety. He is currently the Principle Investigator for an NSF Grant entitled: Making Ethics Explicit: Relocating Ethics to the Core of Engineering Education. Dr. Kastenberg is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the AAAS and the ANS. More recently, he has been lecturing and writing on the interplay of safety culture and societal culture, and the interplay of cognition and emotion on science and engineering ethics education.