LEV SZENTKIRÁLYI† earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Colorado and is an Assistant Teaching Professor in CU-Boulder’s Program for Writing and Rhetoric and Baker Natural Sciences and the Environmental Residential Academic Program, where he teaches diverse courses that draw on his interdisciplinary research interests in environmental political theory, environmental policy, and international relations.
Dr. Szentkirályi’s primary research centers on social and environmental justice and explores problems of environmental health risks, global pandemics, food insecurity, human rights, climate ethics, and just war theory. In striving to develop ethically-justified yet scientifically-grounded policy proposals, the broader aim of his research is to justify practical ways in which vulnerable groups in our communities can be protected from injustices. For instance, Dr. Szentkirályi’s recent book, The Ethics of Precaution (New York: Routledge, 2019), revitalizes the debate over the precautionary principle by defending safeguards against scientifically-unverified environmental health threats and arguing that industry is morally obligated to take reasonable strides to prevent putting others in the way of potential albeit uncertain harm—especially vulnerable groups, like children, the elderly, the poor, and marginalized minority groups. At base, this requires industry to perform greater toxicity testing of the substances they expose the public to in order to determine actual risks to human health, to honor the public’s right to know by disclosing the findings of these tests, and to ensure that vulnerable groups are not exposed to inequitable levels of risk. The Ethics of Precaution has several practical implications for national and global policy reform, and theoretical implications on human rights and global governance, food justice, and climate ethics—implications which his current research explores. In addition to his contributions to edited volumes, Dr. Szentkirályi’s work has also appeared in International Political Science Review and Ethics, Policy, and Environment.
Motivated by an appreciation for scholarship that intersects different disciplines, Dr. Szentkirályi’s student-centered pedagogy and interdisciplinary courses challenge students to develop an integrative understanding of the scientific, policy, and ethical dimensions of the complex environmental problems and social phenomena they explore, to draw on their discipline-specific studies to offer insight into these problems to contribute to our collective learning, and to refine transferable skills of research and writing that they can apply in their majors and beyond. Dr. Szentkirályi has been awarded for teaching excellence, his service-learning courses have been recognized by CU-Boulder (Spring 2018 with the Vice Provost’s Office and Fall 2018 with Foothills United Way), he has received several teaching grants to develop innovative courses and meaningful service-learning opportunities, and he has presented papers on teaching and learning at the premier research and teaching and learning conferences in political science.
† pronounced: sěnt-kē-rŏ-yē :: “sent-key-rah-yee”