Dr. Francesca Grifo gave a lecture on ethics this past Monday as part of the annual P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science lecture. She is the Chief Scientific Integrity Official at the EPA and ensures that scientific integrity is being upheld, for the benefit of the scientist’s work and the American people’s health. She discussed the political policies and the efforts that they are making to change the way that things are run. It was great to hear someone “from the inside” discuss the new and developing policies toward science in politics.
This brings to light issues relating to the role of the government in dealing with the environment, and how they are responsive to the ideas and opinions of the people. It also brings up the question of who then is responsible for the health of the American people? We talked in the seminar about how scientists deal mainly with facts, and engineers deal more with judgment, and so are their ethical responsibilities different? What are the ethical responsibilities of the government? And as new issues arise and as the world around us changes, do we need to define a new ethical code? The issues that we deal with in the IDEAS seminar are ones that Dr. Grifo has to deal with everyday at her career.