Truth-Seeking in an Age of Tribalism: Lessons from the Flint Water Crisis - Marc Edwards

April 9, 2018 - 6:00 pm
Love Auditorium (B101 LSRC) and Hall of Science, West Campus
2018 Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society
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Marc Edwards

Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering
Virginia Tech

Marc Edwards is the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in environmental engineering, applied aquatic chemistry and engineering ethics. His research group aspires to pursue science as a public good, through laboratory work on practically important but underfunded topics such as corrosion in buildings and opportunistic premise-plumbing pathogens—that work laid the groundwork for investigative science uncovering the 2001-2004 D.C. Lead Crisis and the 2014-2016 Flint Water Disaster. Time Magazine dubbed Edwards “The Plumbing Professor” in 2004, and listed him amongst the 4 most important “Innovators” in water from around the world.  The White House awarded him a Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1996 and he won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007.  His paper on lead poisoning of children in Washington D.C., due to elevated lead in drinking water, was judged the outstanding science paper in Environmental Science and Technology in 2010. In 2013 Edwards’ was the 9th recipient (in a quarter century) of the IEEE Barus Award for “courageously defending the public interest at great personal risk.” In 2016 he was named amongst TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people in the World, the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Politico Magazine’s Top 50 visionaries who have transformed American politics, and Foreign Policy Magazines 100 World’s Greatest Thinkers. He was short-listed for Time Person(s) of the Year 2016 along with other Flint whistleblowers, and received the AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in 2018.

A light reception will precede the lecture at 5:15 pm. A short Q&A will follow.

The free event is open to the public and seating is on a first come, first served basis. RSVP required.

Co-sponsored by the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke Law School, Sanford School of Public Policy and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.