Faculty Reading Recommendations

Donna Riley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Engineering

Donna Riley

Donna Riley's work combines methods in engineering and the social sciences to characterize and communicate chemical risk. She seeks to integrate quantitative modeling of chemical risks (from sources to exposure endpoints) with an understanding of the ways in which human beliefs and behavior influence risk. Recent projects have involved characterizing the risks of mercury use as part of religious and folk traditions in Latino and Caribbean communities, and developing improved consumer-product warnings. For more information, see Professor Riley's webpage.

Here are Professor Riley's recommendations:

1. Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault
This novel, which broadly speaking explores themes of loss, features an engineer confronting the issue of dams and displacement at home along the St. Lawrence Seaway and abroad at the Aswan Dam in the 1960s. An entry point to engineering and its impacts (global, societal, personal) without reading an "engineering book."

2. Union of Concerned Scientists, The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices
I frequently recommend this book to friends and students who want to make responsible choices as consumers with respect to sustainability. This book, grounded in thorough reviews of the scientific literature, clearly lays out what decisions are most important, and which ones aren't worth fretting over, when it comes to environmental impact.

3. Langdon Winner, The Whale and the Reactor
This classic in the field of science and technology studies explores the politics inherent in technology.

4. Lerman, Oldenziel, and Mohun, eds. Gender and Technology
This reader provides an introduction to the field of feminist technology studies with fascinating histories and case studies of how technology is gendered, from cars to vibrators, and from dressmaking to meatpacking.

5. Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress
This book has profoundly influenced how I teach and inspired my current research project of implementing and assessing feminist and critical pedagogies in engineering education.