Wednesday, December 09, 2009

No respect - Gallup: Members of Congress are seen as less ethical than used car salesmen. Engineers (ahem) are rated as highly ethical.


Mark L said...

Engineers pretty much have to be ethical. Cheat on a bridge design and the bridge collapses. Busted! Fudge some part of an analysis of an airplane's design and the airplane crashes. Busted.

Ditto ships, ditto buildings, ditto pretty much all engineers get hired to do. Ethical behavior is a survival trait.

John said...

Kind of an interesting take, although I think used car salesmen get a bad rap.

I'm a professional engineer, and I have been thinking about this question:

Is honest and ethical the same thing?

As an engineer, I must be honest in construction methods, but am I necessary "ethical" by being so?

An hypothetical example would be: I am building a building that customer wants to make tornado resistant. I can build the building in a safe, reliable manner, that could take a F3 if that was what the customer required. But if history of the area, and current conditions make it unlikely that a tornado will ever hit that area, have I been ethical in giving the customer what they wanted?

My professional ethics code boils down to "never do anything that endangers the public", and the overbuild building meets those professional obligations. But is it ethical?