Overwhelming Support for FlintWaterStudy’s stand against the ES&T Editorial

We want to thank the 100+ colleagues who have directly communicated support for our belief, that professors must not be bystanders if they witness an environmental crime, especially when a vulnerable population is being harmed. Our motivations and actions to help expose the Flint Water Crisis were called out by the new editorial in ES&T Crossing the Imaginary Line.

As exemplified by the letter below, the overwhelming consensus is that:

“The researchers at VaTech have done exactly the right thing: morally, ethically, and professionally.  They took brave action not to be Hollywood heroes but because it was their responsibility as engineers to society.”

Even accounting for a selection bias, it is clear that the Editor-in-Chief of ES&T did not obtain the “full support of our community” before Crossing the Line and writing his regrettable critique.

Exemplary letter of support from Dr. Patricia Maurice at the University of Notre Dame:

Download (PDF, 32KB)


4 thoughts on “Overwhelming Support for FlintWaterStudy’s stand against the ES&T Editorial

  1. As a member of Governor’s Flint Water Task Force, a resident of Flint , and a pediatrician , I am forever indebted to the work of Dr. Mark Edward and his team. Science is a method of inquiry, based on the testing of a hypothesis. The hypothesis about lead in water was generated by the reports and concerns of everyday people . This hypothesis was pursued by those who use rigorous standards. I shudder to think of how long this disaster would have continued and how many people would have been exposed to a neurotoxicant had not some courageous content experts and scientists stepped up .Science is the pursuit of knowledge , but must also be applied in service to the community.

    • Dr. Reynolds played a role in exposing the disaster, and was a leader on the Government Task force– he is playing a major role in the recovery effort.

      When the history of this is written, the Flint Water Task force and its membership deserved accolades for their blunt honesty. When this group formed I have to confess I thought one thing—here comes another snow job. I was wrong. Their efforts provide a model for future man-made disaster investigations to follow. The first step in fixing a problem, is to get an honest assessment of what went wrong. I cannot criticize a word in the Task Force report. I also think Governor Snyder deserves some credit for assembling a team of such honest and straight shooters.

  2. The sad part is that this issue, first code of professional ethics, even has to be discussed, especially on public health issues. A society needs ‘professionals’ to perform certain ‘thrust worthy’ services most people do not have. Societies hence provide the education to individuals to acquire the necessary knowledge to provide such services. In return the society expect that such knowledge are used in the interest of the public, hence the first code of ethics of all professions. May be each class room should have a sign, reminding students who is paying for their education.

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