Dr. Hattie Caldwell - Bennett College for Women (3902 hits)
Hattie retired from the US Department of Energy in 2008. Since then she has continued to pursue her interest in promoting and implementing technology programs the world over while also advocating for and educating societies on the need for and benefits of appropriate technology.
Hattie is the current president of the National Technical Association, the oldest minority technical association in the United States. She is working with the International Conference on Appropriate Technology to plan their biannual conference which will be hosted by the University of Ghana at Legon in November of this year. The conference theme is Technical Solutions for a Thirsty and Polluted Planet.
Hattie’s career in health physics remains her driving passion. “I’ve been traveling to the continent of Africa since 1978 for technical conferences and the exchange of ideas. I am aware of the problems there.”
She’s going to Haiti to do demonstrations on the use of solar power to purify water and cook food. Meanwhile, she serves as executive director of the Museum of African American Technology (MAAT) Science Village in Oakland. She is also conducting research and assembling information on the contributions of African Americans involved in development of the atomic bomb.
One of the world’s most serious technology issues is the availability of and access to clean water. It is an issue that affects half the world, says Hattie, and that includes the United States. “It’s a global problem that is particularly stressful in developing nations.” Water sources are drying up due to global climate changes. As the planet grows warmer, water supplies are diminishing. On the continent of Africa, the Sahara Desert is expanding. Oasis of water have been reduced to trickles.
“This [situation] is particularly challenging for African women whose jobs are to fetch water and wood for cooking, cleaning and bathing,” Hattie explained. These women travel to naturally occurring water sources which are also used by animals. These water sources are not filtered: animal waste and raw sewage is commingled which leads to health issues.