“The Washington DC Lead Crisis (2001-2004): Prelude to Flint 2015” is the pediatric grand rounds presentation that Principal Investigator (PI) Marc Edwards was invited to give at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI in December 2015.
In this talk, Marc highlights key events in the history of the DC lead-in-water contamination and the large-scale public health harm that ensued. It illustrates that the main cause of both the crisis and its destructive aftermath was systematic and escalating misconduct by engineers and scientists in government agencies whose very mission it was to protect the public’s health. The central question Marc raises is:
What messages do engineers’ and scientists’ workplaces communicate that foster institutional cultures of willful blindness to wrongdoing and of cowardice in preventing or stopping harm? And what price are engineers and scientists willing to pay to rise above these cultures and defend the public’s welfare when such welfare is in jeopardy?
Here’s the link to Marc’s talk.