Kenneth Shockley coPI on NSF Grant

 Dr Shockley.

Dr. Kenneth Shockley, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Sustainability Academy, speaking at the Solar Strand Opening on Earth Day 2013 at the North Campus. Photography by Douglas Levere, courtesy of UB Communications

Published September 23, 2013

University at Buffalo-led research team receives $796,000 NSF grant to develop new management techniques for our nation’s superfund sites. Kenneth Shockley is co-PI for a grant from the National Science Foundation for a new approach to managing hazardous waste sites.

Unusual mix of academics

“There’s a human element that revolves around the idea of value which can be incorporated into these projects to bring about more appropriate responses to the challenges presented by these sites,”
Kenneth Shockley, Associate Professor, Ethics
Department of Philosophy

An engineer, a philosopher, a sociologist and an oral historian walk into a room.

It’s not the start of a one-liner. Instead, it’s the unusual mix of academics working on a new approach for the long-term management of hazardous waste sites in the United States.

Often called brownfields or superfund sites, these are former steel mills, oil refineries, old military bases and other contaminated grounds that threaten public health. With thousands nationwide, the estimated cleanup cost, already billions of dollars, continues to climb.

The traditional method is to focus on technological solutions based on cost and their potential to improve public health. But a research team from the University at Buffalo and Canisius College argues that, in many cases, that decision-making paradigm is not an adequate way to examine the problems associated with hazardous waste sites […]

“There’s a human element that revolves around the idea of value which can be incorporated into these projects to bring about more appropriate responses to the challenges presented by these sites,” says Kenneth Shockley, UB associate professor of philosophy, whose research focuses on environmental values and how they are expressed in public policy.  Read more in the press release.