Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar Michael Webber and Next Generation Project Texas Fellow Sheril Kirshenbaum are co-authors of this article on The Chronicle of Higher Education website. In a time when the energy sector must adapt to challenges involving the environment, the economy, and our national security, Webber and Kirshenbaum emphasizes the importance of energy education.
The authors call on institutions of higher education to develop new and innovative approaches to energy education. Students interested in the field of energy are often forced to navigate “an outdated and compartmentalized system” that offers only a narrow focus. They argue that the lack of a discourse and exchange between interrelated areas of study prevents students from gaining a comprehensive understanding of energy. Webber and Kirshenbaum propose a multidisciplinary curriculum that, through the development of energy departments on college campuses, combines the related business, political, technical, and social issues with the traditional scientific approach to energy studies.
The authors conclude that the adoption of energy departments would create an ideal venue for students and faculty across an array of disciplines to work together to tackle both theoretical questions and complex global challenges.