CEE Seminar: Environmental Engineering for the Majority World

Oct 14

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October 14, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Joshua Kearns, Assistant Professor, NC State University

Currently, 90% of engineering and science research is focused on the problems and circumstances of the global wealthiest 10% - i.e., those of us living and working in the affluent minority world. However, as noted in the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Consensus Study Report, Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges, some of the most vexing and consequential challenges are concentrated in the world's poorer regions - i.e., among the "other 90%" living in the majority world. For example, in the majority world around 2.1 billion people (29% of global population) lack access to safely managed drinking water and around 4.5 billion people (61%) lack properly managed sanitation. These statistics exemplify how people in the majority world suffer a long and unfortunate tradition of neglect where communities disproportionately bear the burden of environmental and health risks but are not prioritized by advances in science, engineering, and technology....