Introduction to Engineering Ethics – 2 Engineering Ethics Agenda Review Ethics I Introduce resources for ethical decisions in engineering References Challenger Hand-Out NSPE Code of Ethics NSPE Cases Handout Martin and Schinzinger Code of Ethics: Introduction to Engineering Ethics, p. 1 – 22.
Defining Ethics and Engineering Ethics Ethics - synonyms for “morally correct” or justified - set of justified moral principles of obligation, rights, and ideals Ethics - particular beliefs or attitudes concerning morality Ethics - area of study or inquiry – an activity of understanding moral values, resolving moral issues, and justifying moral judgments
Engineering Ethics The study of the moral values, issues, and decisions involved in engineering practice. The moral values take on forms including responsibilities, ideals, character traits, social policies, and relationships desirable from individuals and corporations engaged in engineering.
Ethics and Practicing Engineering Family Global Environment Clients or Consumers Engineering Profession Law, Government & Public Industry & Other Firms Engineering Firm Engineer Manager Colleagues
Engineering Code of Ethics Some professional organizations have addressed the complexity of moral issues in their fields by developing codes of ethics Professional codes of ethics consist primarily of principles of responsibility that delineate how to promote the public good.
Roles of Codes Shared Standards Positive Support to Act Ethically Guidance Concerning Obligations Motivation Education Deterrence and Discipline Professional Image
NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers Preamble I. Fundamental Canons II. Rules of Practice III. Professional Obligations
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. Fundamental Canon Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:
Example: The Challenger Explosion Mission 51-L NASA January 28, 1986
The skies were clear and the sun shone on the cold freezing morning of January 28, 1986. Kennedy Space Center in Florida was busy preparing the launch of the 25th space shuttle into space. Mission 51-L, the 10th flight of Orbiter Challenger. This was one of the most publicized launches because it was the first time that a civilian, a school teacher, was going into space. The launch of Challenger had been delayed five times due to bad weather, January 28 was the coldest day that NASA had ever launched a shuttle. The time had come, at 11:38 AM Eastern Standard Time, Challenger left Pad 39B at Kennedy. Seventy three seconds into flight, the Orbiter Challenger exploded, killing all seven of its crew.Kennedy Space CenterMission 51-L
3 Seconds CBS News.Com Interactive Challenger Disaster
59 Seconds CBS News.Com Interactive Challenger Disaster
64.7 Seconds CBS News.Com Interactive Challenger Disaster
Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (In compliance with Executive Order 12546 of February 3, 1986) In view of the findings, the Commission concluded that the cause of the Challenger accident was the failure of the pressure seal in the aft field joint of the right Solid Rocket Booster. The failure was due to a faulty design unacceptably sensitive to a number of factors. These factors were the effects of temperature, physical dimensions, the character of materials, the effects of reusability, processing and the reaction of the joint to dynamic loading. (Source: The Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident Report, June 6, 1986 p.40, p.70-81)
Solid Rocket Motor Joint http://www.uoguelph.ca/~mgravell/
O-Ring CBS News.Com Interactive Challenger Disaster
Discussion Points Interested Parties The section of the NSPE Code of Ethics that may be helpful Consequences of potential actions Obligations or correct action Issues or points of conflict
Questions To Think About How does the implied social contract of professionals apply to this case? What professional responsibilities were neglected, if any? Should NASA have done anything differently in their launch decision procedure?
Summary Defined ethics and engineering ethics Tried one approach to developing a well- reasoned response to a moral dilemma Introduced the NSPE Engineering Code of Ethics Tried application of the Code of Ethics to engineering cases
Assignment – Ethics Case Analysis Using one of the case studies in your course packet (or another case from the NSPE website): http://www.onlineethics.org/cases/nspe/ Go to the website and read the full version of the NSPE case and discussion.
Do a short written report on the case that includes: a)Identifying the Case by number and title b)Identifying the Issues and Points of Conflict c)Listing the Interested Parties d)List the main Code of Ethics References used by NSPE e)List at least two available Actions and likely Consequences f)State the NSPE Conclusion Assignment – Ethics Case Analysis (Cont)