Tue, 3 June 2014
Kristin Shrader-Frechette is O'Neill Family Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. She has previously held senior professorships at the University of California and the University of Florida. Author of 16 books and nearly 400 articles, Shrader-Frechette’s theoretical work appears in journals such as Biological Theory, Bioscience, Health Physics, Oikos, Philosophy of Science, Quarterly Review of Biology, Synthese, and Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Most of her work is concerned with the ethical problems in risk assessment, public health, and environmental justice - especially related to radiological, ecological, and energy-related risks. She has received the World Technology Award, the Global Citizenship Award, and the Catholic Digest named her one of 12 "Heroes for the US and the World". She has served as an advisor to numerous governments and international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
In this conversation, Shrader-Frechette talks about a childhood filled with activism, her fight to give a voice to the poor in the face of company greed (and the personal repercussions), and her use of service teaching to engage students. The red line throughout the episode is her genuine passion for creating a healthier and more just society, showing that philosophers can extend their voice beyond academia and contribute to real change in the world.