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Paul T Kidd's Sustainability Pages

Main Home > Sustainable Civilisation >Sustainability Home > New Approaches to Science, Engineering & Technology

New Aproaches to Science, Engineering and Technology

Engineers are trained to think in a certain way, a linear way … they are not always encouraged to think outside the box, or to think in an open-minded, counter-intuitive way. They are programmed to think that rationality will always triumph.

And, as a result you will not find many engineers who are asking the most fundamental of questions: Why is contemporary civilisation unsustainable? What is it about us (engineers) that contributes to this circumstance? How do we need to change in terms of values, thinking, and methods to enable, and be part of, a transition towards a sustainable civilisation?

The opening paragraph above is adapted from words that appeared in a (usually rather superficial) publication (E&T Magazine), produced by a very traditional industrial era type organisation (The Institution of Engineering and Technology), representing a very conservative group of people (engineers), who are part of an orthodoxy that is based on collective beliefs and values (from the past) that blinds them to the damage that they have caused over many centuries. But of course, being blind, they do not see this, nor recognise that they are blind.

Scientists, engineers and technologists bear a heavy burden of responsibility for the unsustainable nature contemporary civilisation, although few realise this, so caught-up are they in their respective ideologies. An eminent applied mathematician and control engineer, the late Professor Howard Rosenbrock, FRS, was prepared to tackle this matter.

Howard Rosenbrock is well know in the fields and applied mathematics and engineering for his pioneering contributions to the development of control theory, control systems design, and the application of computers for the purpose of industrial control. However, there is an aspect of his work that many in science, engineering and technology would prefer to ignore, and this was his concern about the damaging consequences of the values underlying science, engineering, and technology. This life-long disquiet led him, in the later stages of his career, to begin to lay the foundations for new approaches to science, engineering, and technology through the development of a method for developing skill enhancing or human-centred technologies, and an exploration of science based on purpose (be careful here—this does not mean what you think it means!).

Least this work should go unnoticed and be relegated to obscurity, we will be documenting in the content of this web site more information about this and his pioneering contributions, so that others can begin to build upon this most important of scientific, engineering and technological endeavours.


For further information visit Paul's Visions and Futures Space.

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