marc edwards

Screenshot 2015-12-27 10.00.14Marc Edwards, PhD is the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), where he teaches and performs research related to environmental engineering. For over 10 years, he has played a leading role exposing flaws in government agency research and practice in connection to the Washington, DC lead-in-water crisis of 2001-2004. Directly contradicting government assurances that the contamination did not result in measurable public health impact, Marc’s research showed large-scale harm on the District’s fetuses, infants, and young children and helped advance the national conversation about the prevalence and danger of lead in drinking water.

Amongst other distinctions, Marc has received Villanova University’s 2010 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics, a MacArthur Fellowship or “Genius Award” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and was listed amongst the foremost innovators in water from around the world by TIME magazine. In 2013 Edwards was the 9th recipient in a quarter century of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Carl Barus Award for “courageously defending the public interest at great personal risk.”

Marc co-founded “Engineering Ethics and the Public” with Yanna Lambrinidou. He is Principal Investigator (PI) on this grant.

Marc can be reached at edwardsm@vt.edu.

yanna lambrinidou

YL2Yanna Lambrinidou, PhD is a medical ethnographer, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Science and Technology Studies (STS) program at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) Falls Church campus, and founder of the non-profit children’s environmental health organization Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives. Yanna’s work focuses on intersections in our cultural fabric where engineers, scientists, and members of affected publics meet and negotiate questions of knowledge, power, and representation, as well as appropriate applications of officially-sanctioned technical expertise.

Since 2007, Yanna has conducted investigative, ethnographic, and public policy research on lead in drinking water in Washington, DC and nationally, including lead in water in US schools. This work has highlighted holes in existing mechanisms for public health protection, and helped expose wrongdoing on the part of engineers and scientists in local and federal government agencies. Yanna’s educational blog about the DC lead-in-water crisis of 2001-2004 played a catalytic role in triggering the systemic changes that eventually took place in the leadership and culture of DC Water, Washington, DC’s public water utility.

As a member of the Education and Communication workgroup of the CDC/ATSDR National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures, Yanna spearheaded the recommendation for multi-directional learning between government, industry, and affected communities, as well as civic empowerment and capacity building surrounding matters of environmental health. Through work she conducted under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant, she brought community voices into national policy deliberations about deficiencies in the federal Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) — the law that aims to protect consumers from lead and copper in drinking water. Her participation in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) LCR workgroup, which was convened in 2014-2015 to issue recommendations for revisions to the LCR, resulted in the group’s sole dissenting opinion.

Yanna co-founded “Engineering Ethics and the Public” with Marc Edwards. She is co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) on this grant.

Yanna can be reached at yanna@vt.edu or pnalternatives@yahoo.com.