In this issue.
In this special theme issue devoted to "Responsible Technology and Issues of Faith," seven authors address a diversity of topics which provide Christian assessments of, and approaches to, technology and its practices. Similar concerns about contemporary engineering practices are also found in recent secular engineering magazines. For example, articles in the March and September (2011) issues of Mechanical Engineering, the magazine of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, have advocated a more humanitarian approach to design and have promoted the design of technologies with an eye to the rest of the globe. Many engineering schools are urging their students to consider Engineers without Borders, and engineering departments at Christian colleges have long promoted service learning.
The seven articles in PSCF can be broken down into three groups:
1. Two articles written by philosophers of technology: Albert Borgmann (University of Montana) explores the character of contemplation in a techno logical era by examining what we can glean from the wisdom of Thomas Merton. Marc J. de Vries (Delft University of Technology) details the presence of utopian thinking in contemporary technology and contrasts this with the need for responsible technology in an imperfect world.
2. Two articles written by Calvin College engineers: Steven H. VanderLeest distinguishes between science and technology and argues that an interplay model, rather than a primacy model, best describes the engineering design of technology. Gayle Ermer examines the complexity of technology and provides a rationale for a connectionist approach to engineering design.
3. Three articles written by a former energy research lab director, a biology professor, and a physicist detail specific practices, respectively-renewable energy generation, agrarian agriculture, and solar cooking, all practices that demand attention: Kenell Touryan (recent vice president of R&D at the American University of Armenia) champions renewable energy for a sustainable future, David Dornbos Jr. (Calvin College) argues for a normative consideration of sustainable agricultural practices in agrarian systems, and Paul Arveson (board member of Solar Household Energy) promotes solar cooking as an underutilized solution for the poor of the earth.
May this theme issue promote reflection and give us a more informed understanding of how we can live technologically responsible lives, responding in faith to God's call in Genesis to be culturally engaged in his world.
Arie Leegwater and Jack Swearengen
Theme Issue Co-Editors