A unique partnership of several experts in the field of environmental justice has led to a historic connection between Indiana University Northwest and the University of Notre Dame that continues to grow.
Last spring Kristen Shrader-Frechette, Ph.D., O’Neill Family professor of philosophy and biological sciences at Notre Dame was a panelist at the Northwest Indiana Environmental Justice Partnership annual conference. There a discussion gave birth to the idea of allowing a select group of students to enroll in her course, Environmental Justice (BIOS 573/PHIL 470) this fall. One student from IU Northwest is currently enrolled in the course, but Shrader-Frechette hopes to open the course again to more studetns in the spring. The class meets once a week and students pay IU Northwest tuition and receive IU Northwest credit.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for a student of IU Northwest to study under an international expert in the field at a prestigious institution," said Earl Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of Minority Studies at IU Northwest. "We are very enthusiastic to even be considered for this opportunity and hope to see these relationships continue."
Several other leaders that attended the NWIEJP conference will be appearing with Shrader-Frechette for a lecture at Notre Dame. On Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium, Bryan Bullock, NAACP environmental justice leader and attorney in Gary, Ind., will lead a discussion about legal obstacles to environmental justice.
A few of the topics covered in the course are how to recognize typical ethical and scientific problems likely to arise in environmental policies, understand the many of conflicts of interest that scientists face in conducting environmental research, and use classical techniques for resolving ethical dilemmas in science. Ultimately Shrader-Frechette wants students to rethink the various ways that unethical science can compromise values of objectivity, justice, free informed consent, duties to the common good, rights to know and responsibility.
Author of more than 300 articles and 14 books, Shrader-Frechette has conducted pro bono environmental justice work with minority groups throughout the United States, including Appalachians, African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans. She has served as an advisor, often on nuclear or environmental ethics issues, to the United Nations, World Health Organization, US Congress and several foreign governments. She served as the first female president of the Risk Assessment and Policy Association, the Society for Philosophy and Technology and the International Society for Environmental Ethics.
The NWIEJP is a community-university alliance of individuals and groups that addresses environmental justice and quality of life issues within the region. The group was founded in 1997 and has played a major role in facilitating initiatives in areas such as health, brownfields, transportation and jobs. The partnership has lead numerous public forums concerning the confined waste disposal facility in East Chicago.
For more information about the NWIEJP, please contact Dr. Jones at (219) 980-6704.