A Perspective on the Relationship Between Engineering and Ecology

Robert Herman

New Awareness

As the twenty-first century approaches, humanity finds itself at the dawn of new awareness. Throughout recent human history technological development has largely focused on solutions to specific problems with important outcomes affecting human existence, such as the freedom to live, develop ideas, and move about freely in relative comfort, provided that, in principle, others are not injured. It is mainly from the perspective of the individual that the world has almost reached the twenty-first century. This point of view is no longer thought to be valid by many people, and environmental justice now appears to require the consideration of collective effects—that is, the concept of the "commons." Unfortunately, this concept is mainly human centered and often does not take into account the well-being of other living creatures.

It is generally recognized that the quality of the environment must be maintained so that living creatures can survive, that is, extract oxygen and water and give off waste products. Our living conditions are intended to give us warmth, comfort, and safety and serve as a place for physical and spiritual nourishment, while at the same time their creation influences the collective environment, causing such problems as air pollution, solid-waste accumulation, and the greenhouse effect. The subtle and insidious nature of the impacts resulting from greenhouse gas buildup makes a truly equitable societal response very difficult. This is especially so when we recall that the contribution of human effluents in many instances is a small part of the natural balance. Unfortunately, however, we humans are not yet in a position to understand all the intricacies of the biogeochemical balances that exist within the world's ecosystems and the influence



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--> A Perspective on the Relationship Between Engineering and Ecology Robert Herman New Awareness As the twenty-first century approaches, humanity finds itself at the dawn of new awareness. Throughout recent human history technological development has largely focused on solutions to specific problems with important outcomes affecting human existence, such as the freedom to live, develop ideas, and move about freely in relative comfort, provided that, in principle, others are not injured. It is mainly from the perspective of the individual that the world has almost reached the twenty-first century. This point of view is no longer thought to be valid by many people, and environmental justice now appears to require the consideration of collective effects—that is, the concept of the "commons." Unfortunately, this concept is mainly human centered and often does not take into account the well-being of other living creatures. It is generally recognized that the quality of the environment must be maintained so that living creatures can survive, that is, extract oxygen and water and give off waste products. Our living conditions are intended to give us warmth, comfort, and safety and serve as a place for physical and spiritual nourishment, while at the same time their creation influences the collective environment, causing such problems as air pollution, solid-waste accumulation, and the greenhouse effect. The subtle and insidious nature of the impacts resulting from greenhouse gas buildup makes a truly equitable societal response very difficult. This is especially so when we recall that the contribution of human effluents in many instances is a small part of the natural balance. Unfortunately, however, we humans are not yet in a position to understand all the intricacies of the biogeochemical balances that exist within the world's ecosystems and the influence

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--> that small perturbations may have, such as an annual El Niño whose effects persist for 10 years. Principles For Engineering Within Ecological Constraints New applications of technology and engineering must come to terms with the social and ethical values of the society in which they are to be made. Engineering must be applied in such a way that innovations make proper contributions to the greater community at large. The development of sound engineering practices can help conserve and restore the environment through a proper balance between engineering principles and environmental considerations. Principal among these considerations must be a strengthening of engineering accounting to include properly the value and costs to the affected ecosystems. Over and above that, societies must avoid becoming technologically overcommitted. It is preferable if engineering know-how is applied sparingly, with the goal of simplifying tasks and enhancing the quality of life. Engineers should not be encouraged to pursue the application of complicated and ingenious devices for unimportant functions. The appropriate criterion for the ethical application of engineering within ecological constraints is conservatism, while operating within the natural system rather than infringing on it or overcoming it, having a sense of the whole of the environment, and abstracting no more than a particular function warrants. Systems should be developed to be as flexible and forgiving as possible to avoid drastic and irreversible consequences when something goes wrong. This is counter to the traditional Baconian view, often held even now in some segments of our society, that nature should be conquered. An ecological approach to engineering must take into account that nature responds systematically, continuously, and cumulatively. In support of these concepts, ecologists should make available to the engineering community as much knowledge as possible on the ecosystems that could be affected, their vulnerabilities, and the specific technical reasons for caution. Perhaps the ecological community should develop a new applied subject area in which consideration is given to engineering applications of a specific type and the resultant stresses, costs, and effects on related ecosystems are evaluated, using various generic cases. It is beyond the capability or intent of the average engineer to become both a creative technologist and an ecologist. As alluded to earlier, when engineering applications are planned, care should be taken to consider the social and ecological costs. Today much depreciation of environmental capital is going unrecorded. For example, Passent (1994) states that between 1970 and 1989 Costa Rica's forest, soils, and fisheries depreciated by more than U.S. $4 billion. He goes on to say many authors believe that resource depletion would be obvious if ecological accounting were included within the national income accounting framework. Such depreciation takes an

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--> enormous toll on a country's capacity to generate future income. In fact, in a developing country a lower per capita income involving sound, ecologically focused business may actually produce a higher standard of living for its people. The United Nations Development Program has devised the Human Development Index, which ranks countries on the basis of a combination of adjusted per capita gross national product, longevity, and educational attainment. From this is derived an average deprivation index. It is interesting that according to this index the United States ranks sixth worldwide, after Japan: Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and Sweden. With regard to the depreciation of environmental capital, engineers must also be aware of any remote effects of their works. In the development of complex systems, careful consideration should be given to what should be automated and what should not. Many times in an automated system (e.g., telephone marketing) the function is performed badly and conceals the essence of the situation. Automation commonly treats everything in an inanimate way. Incommensurable factors, individual differences, local context, and the weighting of evidence are often overlooked though embedded in these factors may be the essence of what is important. With automation the process may be subtly transformed; the process may run smoothly, it may be productive, but it may also be out of line with the nature of things and the essential problems. Such a situation can lead to artificial or unnatural boundary conditions with regard to interactions with other systems. On the other hand it is ethically proper that engineering be applied in a timely manner to ensure survival by diminishing human disease, drudgery, and the threat of starvation; but in so doing the application of engineering concepts takes on an ethical component as well, to ensure that new approaches improve the quality of human life. In the developing world, technological applications should seek to employ native labor and local resources as much as possible, should serve to maintain the natural environment as well as traditional customs, and should focus on teachable know-how. This may not be an easy assignment and will require an application of social knowledge beyond what is commonly taught or expected of the engineer today. Perhaps a new discipline of social engineering should be considered in which the mix of the two topics would take on a more integrated structure. These considerations suggest some key research goals and policy objectives. The "built environment" should have long-term integrity that can enhance the quality of life while taking into account the interactions among the various elements, namely, energy, transportation, communication (or information), public health and safety (e.g., water and waste), industry, construction, the environment, and others. The idealist's future goals for infrastructure development must consider such features as quality, flexibility, adaptability, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and, perhaps most important, crisis management, especially for the complex city.

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--> We need to develop and understand "industrial metabolism" to make industrial processes more efficient through the proper use of by-products and wastes generated during technological processes. In this context we need to aim to lessen environmental impacts through flexible management practices that involve innovative reuse, remanufacturing, and recycling of "wastes" (Ayres, 1989; Frosch, 1993). Future engineering policy should focus on environmentally friendly design. It is at the design stage that strategies can be developed to address environmental issues, since it is during design that consideration can be given to the types of resources and manufacturing processes to be employed, which in the final analysis determine the detailed character of the by-products and the waste stream. Such considerations may often lead to the added benefits of improved efficiency and quality, reduced costs, and increased industrial competitiveness (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1992). Proper cost accounting of industrial processes and their ecological impacts will assist industry to justify environmentally sound business practices. There should be an aggressive public education effort to explain the scientific basis for concerns regarding air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, global warming, and pollution of the oceans, land, and groundwater, especially as these matters relate to choices in human behavior. We need better understanding of the effects of government regulations and public relations on the interaction of engineering with ecology, and better understanding of the impact of the media in generating and influencing the public mind-set, which is a significant determinant of public policy. A realistic approach must take into account the politicization of technical and scientific problems as well as the reality that in our highly litigious culture, constraints are considered to be anathema. Administrative structures should allow for processes to readjust de-centrally with a minimum of central intervention or control, except, of course, for cases of catastrophic breakdown. Land planners need a clearinghouse of information on the ecology of an area, continually updated. The same information should be available to the public and should precede any environmental impact studies once land use decisions have been made. Detailed environmental hazard contingency plans should also be drawn up and made available to governmental authorities for all scales of impacts, local, county, state, regional, and beyond. This would help to ward off improper responses to emergencies. It would also be especially important as it relates to jurisdictional responsibilities in times of emergency, both domestic and foreign. An Example: Transportation Systems The many-faceted nature of these various considerations may be demonstrated by considering a particular engineering-based aspect of modern society,

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--> transportation systems. One of the principal greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, is released whenever fossil fuel is burned. In addition, gasoline internal combustion engines release nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. These gases, in turn, lead to the production of smog and tropospheric ozone, the latter also being an important greenhouse gas. Some vehicles also emit chlorofluorocarbons, which both act as a greenhouse gas and catalyze the destruction of stratospheric ozone. Chlorofluorocarbons serve as the thermodynamic working fluid in all but the most modern vehicle air conditioners and are constituents of the foam cushioning used in car seats. They are also important as degreasing agents and fire extinguishing agents. While these effluents can have an impact on human health and comfort, their effects are not immediate nor are they restricted exclusively to the user. It is in the context of their spatial effects as well as the long duration of their effects on the commons that the release of chlorofluorocarbons to the atmosphere takes on great significance for the biosphere. As more and more people migrate to cities and life is developed in an increasingly global economy, the design of transportation and communication systems provides us with the greatest flexibility for the mitigation of global climate change. It is particularly important that these considerations be taken into account as the developing world begins to expand its use of fossil fuel and advanced transportation systems. The future climate of the globe may be strongly dependent on these technological decisions. It is with these ideas in mind that a number of critical areas require intensive study and that various critical questions can be raised: Should travel and transportation be priced to cover the costs of impacts on the environment? Should work trips be excluded? Should communication that reduces travel be subsidized? Should there be an excise tax on raw materials transported great distances, since energy is required to transport them and ecological risks may be enhanced during their transport? Should there also be a special environmental impact tax on items transported great distances when they could be produced closer to their destination? Should the cost of a new car reflect the value of the useful materials abandoned in the old car that is being replaced? Should individual and business taxes reflect the impact of transportation emissions on the global commons? Should much greater effort be made to explore and exploit the possible benefits of telecommunication? Since vehicular transportation requires massive investment in infrastructure as well as provision for frequent refueling, there are other fundamental and ethical questions to be considered. What means of transportation is fair and equitable in the context of the commons?

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--> What land development and transportation principles should be practiced to ensure the most efficient infrastructure and to maintain the environmental commons? What complementary role should communication play? All of these types of questions must be considered in spite of our inadequate knowledge of the detailed character of urban traffic. In this context there is a strong interaction possible between communication and transportation—"telecommunication" as it is now called. Communication can sometimes replace travel, and communication may make travel more efficient and safe, for example, through the control of traffic in systems such as ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems, formerly IVHS, Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems) (Catling, 1993; ITS America, 1995; IVHS America, 1992; Whelan, 1995). On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that communication can also raise travel demand with a resultant offsetting effect. We focus on transportation in an attempt to illuminate some of the general points made earlier. In practice, all components of the civic infrastructure should be examined as a single system to understand the interactions between the various elements of the system. The infrastructure is a reflection of our human characteristics and, therefore, we need to understand the dynamic evolution of cities to move forward in an effective social and technological manner, one that is compatible with our human character. Complexity The human enterprise is critically dependent on our understanding of, and ability to address and solve, highly complex problems. These are problems whose description must be specified in terms of an intermediate number of variables, not just two or three variables which would generally be tractable, nor an extremely large number such as can be handled by the methods of statistical physics. Systems with an intermediate number of variables are least well understood. There is an urgency to learn how to handle such problems, since the future development of human society will be progressively more dependent on their solution. Perhaps with skill and application it will be possible to discover simplifications that result from collective effects, so that the number of pertinent independent variables can be reduced. One of the first systems with an intermediate number of variables to enjoy substantial progress is vehicular traffic (Herman, 1992; see also Johnson, 1993, and Zuckermann, 1991). Even though traffic systems are complex, with individual actors independently operating independent machines, 75 percent of the variance in the fuel consumed per unit distance for an automobile with a gasoline combustion engine in an urban street network can be explained by a single variable, average speed. In addition, it is also possible to describe the overall

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--> traffic in an urban street network through a two-fluid model with only two parameters. The main assumption in the model is simply that the average speed of the moving traffic is proportional to the average fraction of the vehicles that are moving (Herman, 1992; Herman and Prigogine, 1979). These are but two examples of the great simplicity resulting in some cases where many variables in a complex problem are nonlinearly intertwined. In spite of the large number of variables and effects, including stochastic effects and fluctuations, the net results can be formulated in an extremely simple, compact manner. On the other hand, there are situations in which a result is dependent on a large number of interacting variables, each of which is responsible for only a small percentage of the total effect. Such is the case for the decline of the salmon population in North America, for which fixing one of a relatively large number of pertinent factors not only may not do any good but may actually cause harm, since one does not fully understand the interrelationship among the variables (see Karr, in this volume). It is apparent that when we deal with such complex problems we do not understand in advance all the consequences of our decisions. In this context we refer to Edward Tenner, who recently wrote a very interesting article that addresses some of the above-mentioned difficulties when dealing with complex problems (Tenner, 1991). The article is entitled ''Revenge Theory or why new highways develop gridlock, labor saving appliances create more housework, simplified tax regulations are harder to follow, paperback books cost what clothbound books used to, and why Murphy was an optimist." While it is not easy to classify all the types of outcomes that cause us difficulty, Tenner suggests the following set: repeating, recomplicating, recongesting, regenerating, and rearranging. We might suggest reconstituting as well. With regard to repeating, we are all familiar with the fact that having a time-saving device often induces us to use it more frequently and thus use more time. Recomplicating is exemplified by a new device such as the push-button telephone, which makes some operations easier and is then overpowered by elaborate systems developed to take advantage of it. In recongesting, technological change opens new possibilities but concomitantly encourages new demand that soon clogs the system again, as in the case of the automobile. Regenerating appears after a problem seems to have been solved. This is apparent in connection with pest control, which may work for a while and then revert to the original situation because the pesticide also kills the pest's natural predator or selects for pesticide-resistant pests. Tenner finally discusses rearranging, which is the revenge effect that shifts a problem in space or time. Thus, air-conditioned subway cars may provide a cooler ride, but the stations and tunnels become considerably warmer, which in turn can cause the air-conditioning units in the train to break down. With respect to reconstituting, we note that when a significant new element is introduced into a system, it can generate total change. If you add or subtract something, the overall system may be altered. Examples are the removal of some

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--> vital species from the environment or the introduction of a new technology (Postman, 1993). It is possible to cite numerous other examples that involve sociocultural as well as technological systems. While we cannot anticipate all the effects that might arise from some new technology or methodology, we certainly should give far more thought to some of the arcane possibilities. It is impossible to imagine that the first humans who could create and control fire could have foreseen even a few of the simple, practical applications of the fireplace and the forge. They certainly had experienced the ravages of fire. However, in the not-distant past the scientists who developed the first nuclear pile clearly understood the potential of the nuclear bomb as a devastating weapon of destruction. Discussion Engineering, together with technology, is the day-to-day driving force that shapes our destiny (Russell, 1953). It creates the overall infrastructure and in time evolves as the reflection of our detailed human character. In fact, as we have said in the past, the infrastructure is us. It expresses the history of our lives and the technological and social evolution of humankind through its various societies. More pointedly it reminds us that we are what we were and will be what we are. To quote more precisely, We should not allow the infrastructure to develop only on the basis of individual utility and short-term measures of cost and benefit, or narrowly measurable attributes that are tractable with current analytic tools. We require longer-range goals of a creative and inspirational kind that blend technological and aesthetic considerations. The future of quality of life is to some considerable degree in our hands when we debate decisions about infrastructure. Are beautiful structures ever obsolete? (Herman and Ausubel, 1988, p. 21) It is clear that we must somehow generate a social imperative that will provide inspirational leadership so that our society can strive to reach the highest quality of life with integrity and equality. In this regard it is important once and for all to turn to the question of how much it costs society as a whole that there exists a significant level of legal, moral, and ethical criminality over a wide spectrum at all levels. We have been surprised to find that when this question is raised it appears to be essentially taboo in our culture. However, the central issue of this volume, engineering within ecological constraints, cries out to have precisely such questions scrutinized. It implies that there are goals to be set that will in fact improve the quality of life as we go forward with all of our human enterprises. There is no question but that this focuses on deep philosophical issues. It is not our purpose here to delve into the details but rather to raise the issue in the hope that our collective minds might set a course toward what can be done to develop better understanding and subsequently establish methodologies for improvement. We all know that the failure of a bolt costing a few cents,

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--> whether the result of incompetence or criminality, can cause a disaster, and when the failure is the result of criminality, we need to invent new descriptive words since malicious and venal causes are very different from failure arising from incompetence or random stochastic events. To return to the subject of engineering within ecological constraints, we must remember the importance of science. Science is the wellspring that provides the knowledge we require to realize our engineering and technological goals. This is not to say that new pathways have not arisen from applied research. It is fortunate that early humans were curious about the world around them and appreciated the profound value of the knowledge they had acquired. Not only does science provide the basic knowledge to solve applied problems, it also generates the philosophical outlook for further exploration and helps us appreciate that there is new knowledge beyond the known boundaries. This new knowledge most often comes as the serendipitous result of the curiosity of creative people who have the insight to ask unusual questions that they sense are meaningful to probe (Reines, 1993). Engineering within ecological constraints may generate more fundamental questions than answers. The present administration has set national priorities for scientific research to strengthen industry, protect the environment, improve the educational enterprise, create jobs, and the like. These, of course, are lofty goals worthy of the attention and effort of our scientific and engineering community. However, we believe the approach must be developed with extreme care to maintain the freedom necessary for creativity to flourish, in both the fundamental and applied sciences, and to limit micromanagement of fundamental science that until now has flourished under a system of freedom to explore the ''endless frontier." The reason that micromanagement can be so detrimental, certainly in the case of complex problems, was well expressed by the American poet Brewster Ghiselin (1955) when discussing the creative process: It is essential to remember that the creative end is never in full sight at the beginning and that it is brought wholly into view only when the process of creation is completed. It is not to be found by scrutiny of the conscious scene, because it is never there. 1 There are those who believe, for example with Starr (1993), that Sustaining and improving the quality of life for a diverse global population over the next 200 years will not be limited by the availability of resources, in spite of the likely massive increases in population and economic demands over this time span. The key resource that makes this possible is science and technology. The supply potentials for food, water, and energy appear adequate even with today's menu of available technologies provided they are fully implemented and chosen to minimize environmental degradation. Starr goes on to say that "neither science, nor technology, nor politics, nor religion, nor any ideology is likely by itself to provide the best answers or absolute

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--> criteria for governmental actions, either regionally or globally, that would be adequate for two centuries." In contrast, we are well aware that various global scenarios put forward by Forrester (1971) as well as by Meadows and others (1992), have reached conclusions quite different from those of Starr with regard to global well-being based on our present levels of science and technology. More recently, Pimentel and coauthors (1994) have claimed that to spread the equivalent of Western World quality of life ubiquitously over the entire globe, the current word population would have to be reduced significantly. These authors ask, "Does human society want 10 to 15 billion humans living in poverty and malnourishment or 1 to 2 billion living with abundant resources and a quality environment?" Answers to such profound questions, of course, involve social, religious, political, and philosophical outlooks that probably will never come to closure. These differing results are some of many examples that could be cited when considering complex sociotechnical problems whose projections critically depend on the assumptions that are made and the character of the mathematical model. It should come as no surprise that there is a difference of opinion among competent and honest scientists regarding how to address complex problems. It is difficult to find the proper management and encouragement by governmental bodies to bring efficiency and understanding into such considerations. The overall politicization and often unrealistic promises of our scientific and technical enterprise cannot be of long-term benefit to any one. How then can we approach the task of addressing the manner in which engineering should proceed within the sensible boundaries of ecology? A democracy will always have myriad discussions of any issue on technical, social, and political levels. This is especially true when decisions must be made regarding the allocation of resources. However, science is the fountainhead of new knowledge. If we must prove in advance that all of our inquiries will be productive or even sensible, the greatest drying forces for science will be frustrated. So-called pure research is risky, rarely efficient. Yet it is the solution to individual fundamental problems that makes possible great advances in science and mathematics with consequent disciplinary and social value for the future. We are all very familiar with the intense scrutiny received by new ideas and results, especially if they are disjoint with respect to conventional wisdom and especially so if the work is perceived to have importance. As a rule this is a healthy competitive process, although some of the resistance comes from the conservative nature of the technical communities; and, of course, there is the not-invented-here syndrome. An interesting example of the impact of governmental thinking on science and technology is Thomas Jefferson's concern with social utility when the United States was very young (Martin, 1952). In 1800 Jefferson organized a rank ordering of the utility of the sciences for Joseph Priestley. The list was headed by botany and chemistry, with natural philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in

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--> the middle of the list, and the fine arts at the end. He had an especially high regard for chemistry as one of the most useful sciences with great potential for future discoveries, and he expressed the opinion that agriculture was the most useful of the sciences for America. He qualified his recommendation for geology because he felt its conclusions were uncertain and that it had no obvious utility, but he certainly showed a keen interest in mineral exploration. However, regarding the branch of knowledge that deals with the formation and history of the earth, he wrote as follows: The dreams about the modes of creation, inquiries whether our globe has been formed by the agency of fire or water, how many millions of years it has cost Vulcan or Neptune to produce what the fiat of the Creator would effect by a simple act of will, is too idle to be worth a single hour of any man's life. Jefferson went so far as to remark that it made little difference whether the earth is 600 or 6,000 years old. We mention these thoughts because in Jefferson we have an example of a true Renaissance genius focusing on practical benefits for valid reasons but with a somewhat less than open mind regarding the value of improbable fluctuations from which important knowledge does frequently arise. Perhaps we can be sympathetic to Jefferson's outlook since in those early days of our country there were not sufficient resources and time to indulge in what might have appeared to be the luxury of theoretical speculation. We are now living in a mature sociotechnical culture, and if we were to support only those works which appeal because we see pragmatic results, we had better beware. Nobody is sufficiently prescient to know where new important developments may lie, and we surely must shun an outlook that smothers human receptivity to new thoughts and pathways. All of us, especially those in positions of power and control over resources, should take careful note of some of these ideas so beautifully and succinctly expressed by Leonardo da Vinci in his notebooks: Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass and does not know whither he is going .... Science is the captain, practice the soldiers .... All sciences are vain and full of errors that have not been born by experience, mother of all certainty, and that are not tested by experience. To return again to our central theme, we might propose that the title of the workshop on which this volume is based could just as well have been, "Engineering Within Ecological and Scientific Constraints." Engineering, which is the day-to-day expression of human activity in advancing the overall infrastructure, should proceed in such a way that at a minimum it is essentially compatible with the best scientific understanding of the time and, in addition, takes into account the existing social mores and philosophical and ethical outlook of the particular socioculture. It is difficult to ignore the educational enterprise in such considerations. We desperately need new young people properly trained across disci-

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--> plines to carry out engineering research within the constraints of ecology. Apart from any specific training, it is imperative that our education system mainly encourages students to focus on learning how to learn, learning how to use what they know, to have a sense of the ethical dilemmas, to view information for what it is, and to appreciate the meaning of understanding and knowledge. Our education system is flawed in that it stresses information and prescriptive learning, providing students with a "bag of tricks," the value of which decays rapidly. In our ever-advancing high-technology society, we will be faced with problems of ever-increasing complexity that will require lifelong development in order that we acquire the judgment necessary to make any substantial inroads into problems of critical importance to society and the individual as well. Our eternal struggle for new knowledge that on the one hand adds to the inner core of our understanding and on the other has useful consequences for humanity requires a great and constant effort as well as a high level of devotion. This is an extremely difficult task since as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "Nature seeks to hide." Science is not an isolated pursuit, it is embedded in society and intertwined with all knowledge, especially engineering, and all of human experience. Science as we know it, which has been the creative Aladdin's lamp for humanity, would not be possible if it were not for our deepest conviction both as individuals and as a society that the pursuit of science is a great and uplifting endeavor, essential and relevant to both our material and spiritual evolution. We believe that it is mainly through science coupled with technology that we will eventually learn how to tackle the extremely complex problems that we have been discussing and whose solution is so vital for human progress. In conclusion we feel impelled to state that we are fully cognizant of the importance of solving practical and timely problems that focus on our daily well-being. Nobody would deny the significance of improving the quality of life for all humans everywhere and at the same time living peacefully with one another and with nature. Moreover, we must face the Herculean task of conducting our local engineering enterprises in the face of an almost impossibly complex global problem and doing the best we know how at the time. However, on the other hand, we must never forget that on the long time scale we must continue our striving for the knowledge that comes from all the sciences and, when coupled with philosophical and ethical principles, is the key to our continued evolution and freedom. How better to say this than to paraphrase Socrates, who more than two millennia ago said We must rise above the Earth to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only then will we fully understand the world in which we live. Acknowledgments I wish to express my deep appreciation to Dr. Ruth A. Reck and to Dr. Shekhar Govind for many interesting and useful discussions that were significant

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--> in the structuring of this essay. Thanks are also due Mr. Umer Yousafzai for his assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. Note 1.   Another difficulty for the scientist or any creative artist has been most elegantly expressed by Gertrude Stein (1969, p. 9) in her own inimitable manner: One does not ever understand, before they are completely created, what is happening and one does not at all understand what one has done until the moment when it is all done. Picasso said once that he who created a thing is forced to make it ugly. In the effort to create the intensity and the struggle to create this intensity, the result always produces a certain ugliness, those who follow can make of this thing a beautiful thing because they know what they are doing, the thing having already been invented, but the inventor because he does not know what he is going to invent inevitably the thing he makes must have its ugliness. References Ayres, R. 1989. Industrial metabolism. Pp. 23-49 in Technology and Environment, J. H. Ausubel and H. E. Sladovich, eds. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Catling, I., ed. 1993. Advanced Technology for Road Transport: IVHS and ATT. Boston, Mass.: Artech House. Forrester, J. W. 1971. World Dynamics. Cambridge, Mass.: Wright-Allen Press. Frosch, R. A. 1993. An approach to scenarios of the future industrial ecology. Paper presented at a Conference on Technological Trajectories and the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University, New York, October 28-29, 1993. Ghiselin, B. 1955. Introduction. P. 21 in The Creative Process: A Symposium, B. Ghiselin, ed. New York: New American Library. Herman, R. 1992. Technology, human interaction, and complexity: Reflections on vehicular traffic science. Operations Research 40(2):199-212. Herman, R., and J. H. Ausubel. 1988. Cities and infrastructure: Synthesis and perspectives. Pp. 1-21 in Cities and Their Vital Systems: Infrastructure Past, Present, and Future. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Herman, R., and I. Prigogine. 1979. A two-fluid approach to town traffic. Science 204:148-151. ITS America. 1995. National ITS Program Plan: Intelligent Transportation Systems, Volumes I and II, G. W. Euler and H. D. Robertson, eds. Washington, D.C.: ITS America. IVHS America. 1992. Strategic Plan for Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems in the United States. Johnson, E.W. 1993. Avoiding the Collision of Cities and Cars: Urban Transportation Policy for the Twenty-First Century. Report on a study project sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the Aspen Institute. Chicago, Ill.: American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Martin, E.T. 1952. Thomas Jefferson: Scientist. New York: Abelard-Schuman. Meadows, D. H., D. L. Meadows, and J. Rander. 1992. Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future. Post Mills, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing Company. Passent, D. 1994. Pricing the works of nature. World Paper, March, p. 11. Pimentel, D., R. Harmon, M. Pacenza, J. Pecarsky, and M. Pimentel. 1994. Natural resources and an optimum human population. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 15(5)(May):347-369. Postman, N. 1993. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Random House.

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