Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What is Kevin C. Elliott reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Kevin C. Elliott, author of Is a Little Pollution Good for You? Incorporating Societal Values in Environmental Research.

The entry begins:
Perhaps the most engaging book that I am reading at the moment is Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man. I’ve just started it, so I cannot vouch for the book as a whole, but it appears to be quite inspiring. Beavan recounts the adventures of his family as they attempt to live for a year while having as little impact as possible on the environment—minimizing waste production, electricity use, impact on climate change, etc. As a philosopher, I have to admit that the framing of the book in terms of “no impact” seems a bit off-base. Beavan makes it sound like any change that we make to the environment is bad, or at least that we can easily categorize our impacts into good ones and bad ones so that we can calculate a single measure of our “net” impact. This seems a bit too simple to me. Nevertheless, Beavan’s overall point is important—we should...[read on]
Among the early praise for Is a Little Pollution Good for You?:
"This is a timely, well-researched and compelling book. Elliott admirably combines insights and strategies from philosophy of science with those of applied ethics to carefully analyze contemporary science and science policy around pollutants and human health. There is a growing interest in the philosophy of science community in bringing the work of philosophers to bear on contemporary social issues. This book stands out as a model for how to do just that."
--Sandra D. Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh

"Is A Little Pollution Good For You? by Kevin Elliott, is a wonderfully clear and insightful book dealing with the interplay between social values and economic and political interests in scientific research. Elliott's book is a must read for researchers, scholars, and students who are interested in the relationship between science, industry, and society."
--David B. Resnik, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, author of Playing Politics with Science
Learn more about Is a Little Pollution Good for You?.

Kevin Elliott is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

Writers Read: Kevin C. Elliott.

--Marshal Zeringue