Six Canons of Engineering Ethics

The full Code of Ethics for Engineers can be found HERE!
The 6 Fundamental Canons of Engineering Ethics according to the National Society of Professional Engineers

Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall:
1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
Engineers should always put the safety, health, and welfare of the public before all other things.
2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
A computer engineer shouldn’t be designing bridges. This is kind of like how you wouldn’t go to a podiatrist when you really need a neurologist. Nor would you expect a podiatrist to give you any advice beyond, “You should really consult a neurologist about your chronic headaches.” No one should expect one engineer to work outside of their trained discipline, and any engineer should know what they know, and know what they don’t know.
3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
Which is probably why you don’t see too many of us on the news. We form opinions based on facts, we then share these facts objectively (which is what many other professions do as well). Engineers must stick to the facts and tell the truth.
4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
We can’t tell Company B what Company A hired us to do. Engineers all the insider knowledge for all other these different clients on the down low.
5. Avoid deceptive acts.
We can’t deceive people either – unless we have to for like research and stuff,even then it has to be ABSOLUTELY necessary for the research to be successful. After the experiment the subject would have to be “de-briefed” or informed of the deception that took place to ameliorate the effects of unavoidable deception. Click here to learn more about deception in research.
6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.
Just in case canons 1-5 weren’t clear, number 6 kind of covers it so that there’s really no gray area. I think engineers are getting off pretty easy compared to 1790 BC. Just sayin.


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