The town hall meeting was definitely an interesting experience and a great way to end the semester in this class. We had to put ourselves in the shoes of the people we interviewed and present their perspective as we felt they would themselves. I had the task of presenting what I felt an EPA administrator would bring to the meeting, and as I was talking I was learning a lot about what it must be like to be in the shoes of a government official explaining to people how the air/water/environment in their town gets polluted and how even though it’s the government’s job to protect its people many times it falls short. I think it’s easy to find excuses for why the problem was not addressed and solved earlier and why it is yet to be solved, but that doesn’t change the fact that chronic exposure to toxins has been happening for years. Dr. Edwards’ address to the crowd at the end of the meeting was also interesting – he said something totally contradictory to what was said earlier by a member of the community with a scientific background and supported a claim that there was no reason for concern of harm from this pollution. This may have been an exaggeration on his part but it may not be far from what can commonly happen in situations like these. I wonder, did a town hall meeting like this really go on in Tonawanda and were the residents really told that there was no statistical argument that people were getting sick because of this plant? I enjoyed the exercise at the end where we reflected upon how we would react to this news in the past, present and future. I think a lot of the educational value of this class is the exposure to a variety of instances of scientific and ethical misconduct and then testing our own morals with events like the town meeting so that in the future when we’re confronted with a moral or ethical dilemma that we know how to recognize and deal with it efficiently and honestly. I think that what I wrote in the reflection for what reaction I hope to have in 10 years was an example to that effect, that I would ask lots of questions and start discussions among residents about what should be done about the issue and perhaps take action. I’m not the kind to lead an activism charge for a cause, but I would sure support one that I believe in.