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GCSC Seminar “Sustainability and the Corporate Self: engineers and scientists working in the mining and oil and gas industries”

February 28, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MST

FASB room 295

To attend online, register:

How do engineers and applied scientists who work in the mining and oil and gas industries understand their work in relation to broader calls for greater public accountability of the corporations employing them? In this talk, Professor Smith uses in-depth ethnography to explore how the corporate context of these technoscientific professionals’ work shapes how they imagine and practice sustainability. When faced with competing accountabilities, they invested in compromise solutions. They created institutional structures to try to align their coworkers’ values with their own. Some sought greater professional autonomy by becoming consultants, while others left the industry entirely. The talk concludes by illustrating how critical participation in engineering education can nurture new accountabilities and chart more sustainable resource futures.

Jessica M. Smith is an anthropologist and science, technology and society scholar whose research interests center on mining, energy, engineering, and public accountability. She is Professor in the Department of Engineering, Design & Society at the Colorado School of Mines, where she also directs the Humanitarian Engineering and Science graduate program. She is the author of two books: Extracting Accountability: Engineers and Corporate Social Responsibility (The MIT Press, 2021) and Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West (Rutgers University Press, 2014).


February 28, 2023
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MST
Event Category:


295 FASB (Sutton Geology Bldg.)
115 S 1460 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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