“Fundamental Canon No. 1” of the American Society of Engineers states that “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” Most engineering societies have this principle in their codes of ethics. This duty frames the decades of struggles by conscientious engineers—whether employees or consultants—who strive to balance professional ethics with occupational survival.
Compared to the technologically stagnant dark days in the auto industry of cruel suppression of technical dissent over safety and toxic emissions, a censorship that carried over to the industry-controlled Society of Automotive Engineers, today’s engineers are working in an improved environment for taking their conscience to work. Yet much more remains to be done to safeguard the ability of engineers to speak truth to the powers-that-be.Read more here.