The CSSM and the University of Delaware’s Minerals, Materials and Society Program welcomed Dr Jessica Smith, Colorado School of Mines, on Monday, December 13 at 12 PM Eastern, as she presented “Sustainable Resource Futures: From the Ethic of Material Provisioning to a New Ethic of Relation “.


Debates about sustainable resource futures must take account of the ethical frameworks that shape the questions we ask – and do not ask. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research, Smith identifies a prevailing “ethic of material provisioning” among people who work in the mining and oil and gas industries, from truck drivers to engineers and CEOs: they view their work as a valuable service that provides the material basis for people’s everyday lives around the globe. While there is much truth in this framework, it has not been effective for quelling public criticism of these industries. Shifting from an ethic of material provisioning to a new ethic of relation opens up more expansive dialogues about engineering, resources, and society.

To view a video of her presentation, please click here.