Presentation on theme: "Ethics in Engineering Professor Douglas A. Loy"— Presentation transcript:
1 Ethics in Engineering Professor Douglas A. Loy College of Engineering Graduate Studies SeminarOctober 14, 2013Ethics in EngineeringProfessor Douglas A. LoyMaterials Science and Engineering & Chemistry and BiochemistryThe University of Arizona
2 Ethics Why do engineers need ethics? Professional codes of ethics Practical informationProfessional responsibilitiesWhistle blowingCheatingGifts & bribesEthics in researchSummary
3 Audience Participation: You are an engineer in charge of a product’s production at a large microelectronics firm and you are hosting a group from a company that wishes to become a supplier of a key material used in the manufacture of your company’s product. One of the visitors offers to let you watch a professional football game from the corporate box. Should you accept the offer? Why?
4 Audience Participation: You are an engineer in charge of a product’s production at a large microelectronics firm and you are hosting a group from a company that is the supplier of a key material used in the manufacture of your company’s product. One of the visitors offers to let you watch a professional football game from the corporate box. Should you accept the offer? Why?
5 Audience Participation: You are on an engineering team and discover that the project design is flawed, requiring a complete re-design and will likely result in losing the contract worth billions. The flaw would very likely lead to deaths if left in the product. Loss of the contract will mean laying off at least half of your team and most assuredly nix your promotion. What do you do?
6 Audience Participation: You are on an engineering team and discover that the project design is flawed, requiring a complete re-design and will likely result in losing the contract worth billions. The flaw, if left in the product, would mean possibly not meeting specifications but would not be apparent until after production is underway. Loss of the contract will mean laying off at least half of your team and most assuredly nix your promotion. What do you do?
7 Audience Participation: You are on an engineering team and discover that the project design is flawed, requiring a complete re-design and will likely result in losing the contract worth billions. Loss of the contract will mean laying off at least half of your team and most assuredly nix your promotion. You can’t see the solution to the problem and tell your your boss who says “to keep quiet; the team can figure it out after the contract is in the bag.” What do you do?
8 Why do engineers need ethics? To help make the right decisions under circumstances where it may not necessarily be clear what to do.Engineering ethics course is not about preaching virtue rather, its objective is to increase your ability as engineers to responsibly confront moral issues raised by technological activity.
9 What are ethics?“Also known as moral philosophy, ethics is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong.”Morals: standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.Wikipedia.
10 Ethics vs LawLaws set form legal, enforced boundaries that may or may not be based on ethics. Rule based ethics.Ethics are more general, impartial values that may often not be legally enforced.idealrealethicsethicsLawsLaws
11 Why Behave Ethically?• It works – a capitalistic economy is based upon competition in an open and free market. Bribery and other unethical forms of behavior corrupt the free-market mechanism.• Your professional reputation depends upon it.• Your behavior reflects upon your employer, coworkers, university, race, sex, nationality, and the entire engineering profession.• It’s morally the right thing to do.• It’s what is expected of you as a professional.
12 You will frequently need to consider ethics during your career as an engineer Professional standardsQuality controlCommunication about flawsBribery/Gifts/conflicts of interestIntellectual propertyGiving credit where duePersonnel issues
13 How to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas Identify relevant factsIdentify relevant issue(s)Identify primary stakeholdersIdentify possible solutionsEvaluate each possible solutionCompare and assess consequencesDecide on solutionTake action
14 Engineering Ethics are Rules for behavior: Many, very similar professional codes National Society of Professional EngineersABETIEEEASCEAICHE
15 NSPE Fundamental Canons Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:1) Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.2) Perform services only in areas of their competence.3) Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.4) Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.5) Avoid deceptive acts.6) Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers
16 Rules of Practice1) Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public. a) If engineers' judgment is overruled under circumstances that endanger life or property, they shall notify their employer or client and such other authority as may be appropriate. b) Engineers shall approve only those engineering documents that are in conformity with applicable standards. c) Engineers shall not reveal facts, data, or information without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code. d) Engineers shall not permit the use of their name or associate in business ventures with any person or firm that they believe is engaged in fraudulent or dishonest enterprise. e) Engineers shall not aid or abet the unlawful practice of engineering by a person or firm. f) Engineers having knowledge of any alleged violation of this Code shall report thereon to appropriate professional bodies and, when relevant, also to public authorities, and cooperate with the proper authorities in furnishing such information or assistance as may be required.
17 Rules of Practice2) Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. a) Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved. b) Engineers shall not affix their signatures to any plans or documents dealing with subject matter in which they lack competence, nor to any plan or document not prepared under their direction and control. c) Engineers may accept assignments and assume responsibility for coordination of an entire project and sign and seal the engineering documents for the entire project, provided that each technical segment is signed and sealed only by the qualified engineers who prepared the segment.
18 Rules of Practice3) Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. a) Engineers shall be objective and truthful in professional reports, statements, or testimony. They shall include all relevant and pertinent information in such reports, statements, or testimony, which should bear the date indicating when it was current. b) Engineers may express publicly technical opinions that are founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter. c)Engineers shall issue no statements, criticisms, or arguments on technical matters that are inspired or paid for by interested parties, unless they have prefaced their comments by explicitly identifying the interested parties on whose behalf they are speaking, and by revealing the existence of any interest the engineers may have in the matters.
19 Rules of Practice4) Engineers shall act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees. a) Engineers shall disclose all known or potential conflicts of interest that could influence or appear to influence their judgment or the quality of their services. b) Engineers shall not accept compensation, financial or otherwise, from more than one party for services on the same project, or for services pertaining to the same project, unless the circumstances are fully disclosed and agreed to by all interested parties. c) Engineers shall not solicit or accept financial or other valuable consideration, directly or indirectly, from outside agents in connection with the work for which they are responsible. d) Engineers in public service as members, advisors, or employees of a governmental or quasi-governmental body or department shall not participate in decisions with respect to services solicited or provided by them or their organizations in private or public engineering practice. e) Engineers shall not solicit or accept a contract from a governmental body on which a principal or officer of their organization serves as a member.
20 Rules of Practice5) Engineers shall avoid deceptive acts. a) Engineers shall not falsify their qualifications or permit misrepresentation of their or their associates' qualifications. They shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments. Brochures or other presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, joint venturers, or past accomplishments. b)Engineers shall not offer, give, solicit, or receive, either directly or indirectly, any contribution to influence the award of a contract by public authority, or which may be reasonably construed by the public as having the effect or intent of influencing the awarding of a contract. They shall not offer any gift or other valuable consideration in order to secure work. They shall not pay a commission, percentage, or brokerage fee in order to secure work, except to a bona fide employee or bona fide established commercial or marketing agencies retained by them.
21 Professional Obligations Engineers shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity.a) Engineers shall acknowledge their errors and shall not distort or alter the facts.b) Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they believe a project will not be successful.c) Engineers shall not accept outside employment to the detriment of their regular work or interest. Before accepting any outside engineering employment, they will notify their employers.d) engineers shall not attempt to attract an engineer from another employer by false or misleading pretenses.e) Engineers shall not promote their own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the profession.
22 Professional Obligations 2) Engineers shall at all times strive to serve the public interest. a) Engineers are encouraged to participate in civic affairs; career guidance for youths; and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community. b) Engineers shall not complete, sign, or seal plans and/or specifications that are not in conformity with applicable engineering standards. If the client or employer insists on such unprofessional conduct, they shall notify the proper authorities and withdraw from further service on the project. c) Engineers are encouraged to extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering and its achievements. d) Engineers are encouraged to adhere to the principles of sustainable development1 in order to protect the environment for future generations.
23 Professional Obligations 3) Engineers shall avoid all conduct or practice that deceives the public. a)Engineers shall avoid the use of statements containing a material misrepresentation of fact or omitting a material fact. b) Consistent with the foregoing, engineers may advertise for recruitment of personnel. c) Consistent with the foregoing, engineers may prepare articles for the lay or technical press, but such articles shall not imply credit to the author for work performed by others.
24 Professional Obligations 4) Engineers shall not disclose, without consent, confidential information concerning the business affairs or technical processes of any present or former client or employer, or public body on which they serve. a) Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, promote or arrange for new employment or practice in connection with a specific project for which the engineer has gained particular and specialized knowledge. b) Engineers shall not, without the consent of all interested parties, participate in or represent an adversary interest in connection with a specific project or proceeding in which the engineer has gained particular specialized knowledge on behalf of a former client or employer.
25 Professional Obligations 5) Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests. a)Engineers shall not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product. b) Engineers shall not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with clients or employers of the engineer in connection with work for which the engineer is responsible.
26 Professional Obligations 6) Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods. a) Engineers shall not request, propose, or accept a commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which their judgment may be compromised. b) Engineers in salaried positions shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent consistent with policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical considerations. c) Engineers shall not, without consent, use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of an employer to carry on outside private practice.
27 Professional Obligations 7) Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of other engineers. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action. a) Engineers in private practice shall not review the work of another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated. b)Engineers in governmental, industrial, or educational employ are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by their employment duties. c) Engineers in sales or industrial employ are entitled to make engineering comparisons of represented products with products of other suppliers.
28 Professional Obligations 8) Engineers shall accept personal responsibility for their professional activities, provided, however, that engineers may seek indemnification for services arising out of their practice for other than gross negligence, where the engineer's interests cannot otherwise be protected. a) Engineers shall conform with state registration laws in the practice of engineering. b) Engineers shall not use association with a nonengineer, a corporation, or partnership as a "cloak" for unethical acts.
29 Professional Obligations 8) Engineers shall give credit for engineering work to those to whom credit is due, and will recognize the proprietary interests of others. a) Engineers shall, whenever possible, name the person or persons who may be individually responsible for designs, inventions, writings, or other accomplishments. b) Engineers using designs supplied by a client recognize that the designs remain the property of the client and may not be duplicated by the engineer for others without express permission. c) Engineers, before undertaking work for others in connection with which the engineer may make improvements, plans, designs, inventions, or other records that may justify copyrights or patents, should enter into a positive agreement regarding ownership. d) Engineers' designs, data, records, and notes referring exclusively to an employer's work are the employer's property. The employer should indemnify the engineer for use of the information for any purpose other than the original purpose. e) Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and should keep current in their specialty fields by engaging in professional practice, participating in continuing education courses, reading in the technical literature, and attending professional meetings and seminars.
30 The primary causes of engineering disasters are usually considered to be human factors (including both 'ethical' failure and accidents)2) design flaws (many of which are also the result of unethical practices)3) materials failures4) extreme conditions or environments, and, most commonly and importantly5) combinations of these reasons
31 Historical reasons for formal code of ethics Tay Bridge Collapse (1879)Dundee, Scotland75 people died
32 St. Francis Dam Collapse Southern CaliforniaMarch 12, 1928600 deadMulholland, Van Norman and Harnischfeger inspected the dam and various leaks and seepages, finding nothing out of the ordinary or of concern for a large dam. With both Mulholland and Van Norman convinced that the new leak was not dangerous and that the dam was safe, they returned to Los AngelesEnded William Mulholland’s careerThe reddish sandstone conglomerate appeared crumbly, but despite this evidence of geological weakness, Mulholland chose to push ahead with the dam project.
33 Safety FactorsBuildings commonly use a factor of safety of 2.0 for each structural member. The value for buildings is relatively low because the loads are well understood and most structures are redundant. Pressure vessels use 3.5 to 4.0, automobiles use 3.0, and aircraft and spacecraft use 1.2 to 3.0 depending on the application and materials. Ductile, metallic materials tend to use the lower value while brittle materials use the higher values. The field of aerospace engineering uses generally lower design factors because the costs associated with structural weight are high (i.e. an aircraft with an overall safety factor of 5 would probably be too heavy to get off the ground). This low design factor is why aerospace parts and materials are subject to very stringent quality control and strict preventative maintenance schedules to help ensure reliability. A usually applied Safety Factor is 1.5, but for pressurized fuselage it is 2.0, and for main landing gear structures it is often 1.25
34 Bophal Disaster December 2-3, 1984 Union Carbide Sevin pesticide plant, Bophal India30 metric tonnes methyl isocyanate release2259 died immediatelyEstimated 8000 after two weeks.700,000 exposedPoor maintenanceSafety systems disarmed or disfunctionalOverfilled storage MIC tankSlum built up to UCC fenceNo emergency planningRepeated warnings regarding catastropheManagement cut safety and engineering staffUCC claimed sabotage.
35 Engineering Ethics and disasters Adherence to code could prevent disasters like those mentioned before or Challenger disaster.Identify chain of command (decisions) and make sure it is clear that there is a dangerous situation.Communicate, with examples, that the cost will be much higher if the threat is not taken seriously.
36 Dealing with incompetent engineers Co-worker: not pulling their weight, making mistakes, not meeting professional standardsSubordinate: as aboveBoss: above or refusal to make correct preventative decisionsWhat do you do?
37 Case Study: management falls short XYZ Corporation permits its employees to borrow company tools. Engineer Al House took advantage of this privilege and ordered tools for his unit that would be useful for his home building projects even though they were of no significant use to his unit at XYZ. Engineer Michael Green had suspected for some time that Al was ordering tools for personal rather than company use, but he had no unambiguous evidence until he overheard a revealing conversation between Al and Bob Deal, a contract salesman from whom Al frequently purchased tools. Michael was reluctant to directly confront Al. They had never gotten along well, and Al was a senior engineer who wielded a great deal of power over Michael in their unit. Michael was also reluctant to discuss the matter with the chief engineer of their unit, in whom he had little confidence or trust.Eventually Michael decided to talk with the Contract Procurement Agent. The Contract Procurement Agent agreed not to reveal that Michael had talked with him then called the chief engineer, indicating only that a reliable source had informed him about Al House's inappropriate purchases. In turn, the chief engineer confronted Al. Finally, Al House directly confronted each of the engineers in his unit he thought might have "ratted" on him. When Al questioned Michael, Michael denied any knowledge of what took place.Later Michael explained to his wife, "I was forced to lie. I told Al, 'I don't know anything about this'."Discuss the ethical issues this case raises. What should the chief engineer have done differently? What should Al have done?
38 Professional Obligations NSPE Code of EthicsProfessional Obligations7) Engineers shall not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation, prospects, practice, or employment of other engineers. Engineers who believe others are guilty of unethical or illegal practice shall present such information to the proper authority for action. a) Engineers in private practice shall not review the work of another engineer for the same client, except with the knowledge of such engineer, or unless the connection of such engineer with the work has been terminated. b)Engineers in governmental, industrial, or educational employ are entitled to review and evaluate the work of other engineers when so required by their employment duties. c) Engineers in sales or industrial employ are entitled to make engineering comparisons of represented products with products of other suppliers.
39 Dealing with incompetent engineers Its not your job to publically censure or punish.Co-worker: communicate, first. Find out if there’s a problem that can be addressed. If not, then speak with management.Sub-ordinate: Part of your job is to mentor and teach your subordinates. And to evaluate their performance and give feed-back. Do it.Boss: this one is dicely. Communicate. Advise. If communication breaks down, it may be time to skip a line (see Whistle blower).
40 Whistle BlowingWhistle blowing is alerting relevant persons to some moral or legal corruption, where “Relevant persons” are those in a position to act in response.
41 Case study: Citicorp Tower, NY 900 feet tall9 story columns positioned at centers of edges rather than cornersFirst considered doing nothing and suicide. He recognized his responsibility and went to citicorp. Plates were welded over bolted joints to strengthen the building. Building has survived hurricane Ellie without damage. Public did not know about situation for 20 years. LeMessurier is criticized forInsufficient oversight leading to bolted rather than welded joints.For misleading the public about the extent of the danger during the reinforcement processFor keeping the engineering insights from his peers for decades.However his act of altering Citicorp to the problem inherent in his own design is now used as an example of ethical behavior in several engineering textbooks.Structural Engineer Bill LeMessurier included welded joints to compensate for stress this design would experience with oblique winds. To cut costs and without recalculation, the contractor, Bethlehem Steel, changed welded joints to bolted joints. Wind tunnel experiments showed that diagonal wind loading would lead to failure of joints and, therefore, of the building. LeMessurier went to Citicorp and explained situation.
42 Case Study: Ideas and execution Engineers A & B had an idea for a new thermally removable thermoset and assembled a team to write & submit a proposal to lab management. Without permission, team member Engineer C submitted the proposal to management without the team included and was funded to do the work. During project review, Engineer A discovered that Engineer C had “stolen” the project and complained to Engineer C, then his line manager. The line manger indicated that “having ideas is not important, making them work is” and told Engineer A to forget it. The project was highly successful, receiving accolades from management and customers. Engineer C received monetary awards, promotions and additional funding. Engineer A went to the ombudsman, then higher management with no result. Forty staff members co-signed a letter to lab management condemning the “theft of the invention and ethical misconduct by Engineer C and line management” with no positive result. Engineer B quit fighting not wanting to hurt his career. Only when Engineer A threatened to go to the press, did upper management relent and force engineer C and his management to include the team members on the patent applications. The team never received any support to work on the project at the labs. Engineer A eventually had to leave due to pressure from management, including attempts to terminate his employment.
43 Whistle BlowingIt is the right thing to do when the responsible party(ies) are not doing the ethical thing.Go through proper channels first. Communicate clearly and persuasivelyDocument, document, document or it will be for nothing.Most likely, you will be punished for major whistle blowing, but you will be able to live with yourself.
44 Cheatingan act of lying, deception, fraud, trickery, imposture, or imposition. Cheating characteristically is employed to create an unfair advantage, usually in one's own interest, and often at the expense of others
45 There is no such animal as an absolutely honest human being, and there is no perfect society. For whatever reasons, however, it does seem that it is the compelling destiny of man to seek survival. In the process of trying to survive under increasingly complicated demands and responsibilities, both individual man and society as a whole must strive toward perfection or slide toward destruction."Common Sense and Everyday Ethics" (American Viewpoint, Inc., 1980)
46 Hypocrisy - is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually haveBible, Ten commandments – “Thou shalt not steal,” “Thou shalt not bear false witness” and “Thou shalt not covet.”Koran- “Woe to those that deal in fraud”Buddhism’s Five Precepts: include abstaining from taking things not freely given and false speech.Hinduism’s Ten Disciplines: include “truthfulness” and “no desire to possess or steal.”
47 Rationalization for Cheating Everyone does it.Its my way of leveling the playing fieldI am only cheating because I am swamped. And I’ll never do it again.The course isn’t really necessary for me to be a engineer & the bastards are just making me take it.I am a hypocrite and I know I will soon reside in the eighth level of Hell (see next slide for details)I have no morals: I am a sociopath
48 Consequences of Cheating House of cards –you actually need to know the stuff you are copying or otherwise cheating on. Next semester and beyond are going to be worse because of your acts.You will lack the skills you need. You will not make up for it, catch up or realize any other lame excuse.You hurt those who don’t cheat by stealing their earned rewards (but, you’re a sociopath – so who cares?)Eight Level of Hell: Fraudulent, pimps, seducers, flatterers, Simonists, sorcerers, corrupt politicians, sewers of division, falsifiers, alchemists, thieves.Eternally walking and tormented. Living in excrement. Stuffed into holes. Heads turned backwards. Boiling tar. Lead capes. Snakes. Flames. -Dante, Divine Comedy, around 1320.I will tell you that countries with cultures permissive to cheating and corruption have significant problems being economically competitive. Their engineers and scientists are unable to compete, the qualtiy of their products is limited, and their infrastructure is falling apart, often beginning right after construction.
49 Bribery/Gifts/Conflicts of interest Guidelines vary among corporations, however, accepting gifts or bribes from anyone who you or your company is doing business with constitutes a conflict of interest.Best practice: do not accept gifts from vendors, suppliers or anyone who you do business with.Many corporations: set a monetary limit of $20 for accepting gifts.Meals: can be accepted if there is equitable reciprocation
50 NSPE Code of Ethics Professional Obligations 5) Engineers shall not be influenced in their professional duties by conflicting interests. a)Engineers shall not accept financial or other considerations, including free engineering designs, from material or equipment suppliers for specifying their product. b) Engineers shall not accept commissions or allowances, directly or indirectly, from contractors or other parties dealing with clients or employers of the engineer in connection with work for which the engineer is responsible.
51 Bribery/Gifts/Conflict of Interest: Case Study Suppose you are a design engineer and are responsible for selecting the supplier of an expensive, high volume component. You are visited by a sales engineer who: 1. Gives you a ball point pen and a baseball cap. 2. Offers to take you out to lunch at a very nice (and expensive) restaurant. 3. Offers to take you to a Braves game that weekend. 4. Offers to include an all-expenses paid developer’s training class in Hawaii if you purchase from him/her. 5. Offers to send you on an all-expenses paid vacation for two in Barbados if you purchase from him/her. How should you respond to each of these offers?
52 Actual Examples – Bribery (“Gifts”) -Offers to a project engineer responsible for specifying and selecting capital equipment (approx. $1M) – One vendor offered a trip anywhere in the world for an “acceptance test” – Another vendor offered satisfaction of any vice (gambling, prostitution, alcohol, etc.) – Travel included with system – Various gifts of food and drink For every gift, consider the ethical implications!
53 Other conflicts of interest Moonlighting - in competition with your employer, particularly if you are undercutting prices (inside information).Taking economic advantage based on your knowledge of the status of contracts, projects or technological development (i.e. buying or selling stock with inside information).Release of confidential information belonging to employer in retaliation for perceived wrongs.Using your knowledge of one company’s confidential information to get a job at competing company.Anything that has the appearance of a conflict of interest can be damaging to your reputation and to that of your employer
54 Professional Obligations 6) Engineers shall not attempt to obtain employment or advancement or professional engagements by untruthfully criticizing other engineers, or by other improper or questionable methods. a) Engineers shall not request, propose, or accept a commission on a contingent basis under circumstances in which their judgment may be compromised. b) Engineers in salaried positions shall accept part-time engineering work only to the extent consistent with policies of the employer and in accordance with ethical considerations. c) Engineers shall not, without consent, use equipment, supplies, laboratory, or office facilities of an employer to carry on outside private practice.
55 More difficult ethical issues Weapons engineering for Department of DefenseNuclear Weapons work for the Department of EnergyIntelligence work for NSA, CIA or other three letter agencies.Nobody is forcing you to work for these agencies. Once, you sign oaths and contracts regarding keeping secrets relating to National security, you are obliged to keep your contract unless it is broken by other party. If you quit, you may not divulge those secrets.Think hard and carefully before you join.
56 Ethical issues in Graduate School CheatingPlagiarismNot recognizing or giving credit to prior artStealing ideasFabricating resultsUnethical Use of Peer ReviewImproper Credit to ColleaguesImproper Credit to CollaboratorsWithholding Information
57 Prior ArtRequires multiple exhaustive searches of literature with many keyword variations.Do not just cite the most recent literature, cite the oldest and the most relevant recent cases.Search by compound or structure rather than name where possible. Keywords vary with time and country.Use citations to prior art to distinguish your work or help refine your research to be novel.
58 Stealing ideasRepresenting idea from colleague or literature or peer as your own (Theft, felony). -frequently occurs in corporate and academic worlds -difficult to prove -document your ideas and have co-worker sign and date lab notebook pages. -confront colleague with documentation politely. Then talk with superiors (Whistle blowing). Duplicating another’s research without citation or explanation of rational is stealing.
59 Stealing ideas while reviewing papers or proposals Peer review of papers, reviewer agrees not to use information in the manuscript until after publication.Three reviewers, blind to author of paperPeer review of papers is critical part of scientific process.Doubly damned if reviewer steals idea then rejects paper.
60 Peer review of manuscripts Search authors to see if work is being re-published (is it new).Identify thesis and hypothesesAre they clearly tested in paper.Examine experimentals for completeness and accuracy.What are the results and are they consistent with thesis.Are the experiments sufficient to satisfy testing of hypotheses? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.Do the authors cite the literature properly. Is it really new and did they acknowledge the prior art.
61 Peer review of proposals Search authors and literature in general to see if proposed work has already been done.Identify thesis and hypothesesHow is this proposed work different from prior art?Are the technical approaches adequate to test thesis and hypotheses?Are there well thought out milestones and deliverables?Does the research team have the necessary expertise and resources to do the proposed work?Are there any bottlenecks that would cripple the project?
62 “Stealing” Ideas from Graduates and postdocs Can your advisor use research ideas you generate in group meetings, brain storming sessions or conversations?Yes, if your PI is paying your salary, but you should get credit for them (in writing). Similarly, a company owns the IP you develop with company resources.Make sure you discuss group policy with your advisor clearly with regards to intellectual ownership.
63 Fabricating resultsMaking adjustments to existing data, changing precision or accuracy. Removing signals due to artifacts or contaminants.Completely “dry lab-ing” the data.Both are felony fraud. How do you detect if this is occurring?
64 Fraud at Bell Labs: Jan H. Schon •So-called investigator of“molecular electronics”• 90 papers in 3 years• “on a fast track to Nobel”• Outstanding Young Investigator-Materials Research Society•One of science’s top young innovators – Technology Review•Considered for the directorship of the Max Planck Institute forSolid State Research in Stuttgart (~April 2002)Fraud: 16 instances of fabricated data Detected through scientific evaluation of his claims.77 co-authorswere cleared?Consequences:Fired from Bell LabsStripped of degrees
65 Discovering Fraudulent Science Lab results are not reproducibleSignal is same amplitude as noise in measurementExperimental details are incomplete (or non-existent)Logical inconsistenciesNo attempt to disprove hypothesis (if one is even provided).
66 Scientific Baloney Kit How reliable is the source of the claim?Does the source make similar claims?Have the claims been verified by somebody else?Does this fit with the way the world works?Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?Where does the preponderance of evidence point?Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?Is the claimant providing positive evidence?Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?Are personal beliefs driving the claim?
67 Withholding information Incomplete experimental detailsImpossible to reproduce resultsUnsuitable for publicationCommon in patents (along with burying of real details in useless information).Also highly unethical
68 • See a local attorney and have him file for a patent in your name While working for your company, you invent a device that has a potential for making you wealthy. You used the company’s lab and test facilities, but did the work on your own time. What do you do with your invention?Some options:• Take it to the company’s legal department for determination of ownership rights and appropriate disposition.• See a local attorney and have him file for a patent in your name• Submit your invention for consideration in your company’s “ideas count” program.• Contact those companies who would have an interest in your invention and sell it to the highest bidder.
69 • Reluctantly decline to go. A company-sponsored training course in your field is being held in Orlando, Florida. You have no interest in the training, but you are ready for a vacation and have never been to Disney World. What do you do?Some options:• Even though you have no interest in the training, ask your supervisor if she thinks it will benefit you.• Obviously, or maybe not so obviously, it will be of some benefit to you, so sign up.• Reluctantly decline to go.• Suggest someone else to go who has both a need and the interest.
70 • Go to your supervisor and complain about this unfair workload. For several months now, one of your colleagues has been slacking off, and you are getting stuck doing the work. You think it is unfair. What do you do?Some options:• Recognize this as an opportunity for you to demonstrate how capable you are.• Go to your supervisor and complain about this unfair workload.• Discuss the problem with your colleague in an attempt to solve the problem without involving others.• Discuss the problem with the human resources department.
71 As the technical project manager, you are preparing a proposal for a large contract. Your price is competitive, but you think it will take several months longer than yourcompetitor to develop the system. Your client, the U.S. Navy, wants to know the schedule. What do you do?Some options:• Tell the Navy your schedule is essentially the same as what you believe your competitor’s will be.• Show the Navy a schedule the same as what you believe your competitor’s is (but believing you can do better than what your engineers have told you).• Explain the distinct advantage of your system irrelevant of schedule.• Lay out your schedule even though you suspect it may cause you to lose points on the evaluation.
72 You and an engineer colleague work closely on designing and implementing procedures for the proper disposal of various waste materials in an industrial plant. He is responsible for liquid wastes, which are discharged into local rivers. During ongoing discussions with your colleague, you notice that he is habitually allowing levels of some toxic liquid waste chemicals, which are slightly higher than levels permitted by the law of those chemicals. You tell him that you have noticed this, but he replies that, since the levels are only slightly above the legal limits, any ethical or safety issues are trivial in this case, and not worth the trouble and expense to correct them. Do you agree with your colleague? If not, should you attempt to get him to correct the excess levels, or is this none of your business since it is he rather than you who is responsible for liquid wastes? If he refuses to correct the problems, should you report this to your boss or higher management? And if no one in your company will do anything about the problem, should you be prepared to go over their heads and report the problem directly to government inspectors or regulators? Or should one do that only in a case where a much more serious risk to public health and safety involved?
73 • You work for a company with many military contracts, and you have gotten to know the Army program manager for your project quite well. During a casualconversation, he says that he recently purchased a summer home on St. Simons Island. You mention that you have always wanted to go there but never had, andhe says, “We’re not using our beach house next week, take the family and enjoy.” What do you do?Some options:• Since the offer in no way obligates him to you or your company, thank him and take it.• Tell him you will accept his offer only if you can reimburse him an appropriate rental amount.• Politely refuse, saying it just won’t look right.• Politely refuse, but make up a reason why you can’t accept his offer
74 ABET Code of Engineering THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLESEngineers Uphold and advance the integrity, honor anddignity of the engineering profession by:I. Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancementof human welfare;II. Being honest and impartial, and serving with fidelitythe public, their employers and clients:III. Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession; andIV. Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.
75 ABET: Fundamental Canons 1. Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties. 2. Engineers shall perform services only in the areas of their competence. 3. Engineers shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner. 4. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest. 5. Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others. 6. Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity and dignity of the profession. 7. Engineers shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those engineers under their supervision.
76 The hardest ethical decisions Those that mean people will lose their jobs as a consequence.Those that you know will be resisted by management (especially bean-counters)Those that could mean your family loses its source of income.Ones that are needed because of an unethical decision or action you made in the past.Most of the negative consequences come from others who are cheating the system, not from you doing the ethical thing.
77 How to Maintain High Ethical Standards • Practice making ethical decisions starting NOW– Frequent small decisions that are ethical lead toethical habits which build an ethical character– While in school, follow the student code of conduct.If in doubt, ask the professor• Associate with ethical people– Ask about a company’s code of ethics wheninterviewing– Look for a new job (or quit on the spot) if yourcompany engages in unethical practices• Keep doing the right things.