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Engineering and Human Rights: Teaching Across the Divide

Author: Shareen Hertel and Allison MacKay, Business and Human Rights Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, Published on: 25 January 2016

College students are among the world’s most avid consumers of new technologies…and…increasingly view ethical consumption as a way to express their politics in action…The few who are attuned to such issues frequently lack the technical skills for cross-disciplinary analysis of contemporary business challenges…Students are typically trained either in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, or in the social sciences…but not in both. This article explores a vehicle for closing the gap: an undergraduate seminar that explicitly integrates students from the STEM fields within an existing human rights minor curriculum at the University of Connecticut. Our seminar on ‘Assessment for Human Rights & Sustainability’ is central to an emerging track of courses…that equip students…to work together to understand the social and environmental limits that constrain contemporary business. The course we have developed exposes students to the core concepts of human rights and sustainability in global supply chains…

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