Emerging Technologies and Ethical Issues in Engineering

  • AuthorNational Academy of Engineering
  • TitleEmerging Technologies and Ethical Issues in Engineering
  • Release DateJanuary 1, 2004
  • Copyright2004
  • ISBN0-309-09271-X

Last fall, engineers and ethicists participated in a workshop to discuss the responsible development of new technologies. Presenters examined four areas of engineering--sustainability, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, and energy--in terms of the ethical issues they present to engineers in particular and society as a whole. Approaches to ethical issues include: analyzing the factual, conceptual, application, and moral aspects of an issue; evaluating the risks and responsibilities of a particular course of action; and using theories of ethics or codes of ethics developed by engineering societies as a basis for decision making. Ethics can be built into the education of engineering students and professionals, either as an aspect of courses already being taught or as a component of engineering projects to be examined along with research findings. Engineering practice workshops can also be effective, particularly when they include discussions with experienced engineers. This volume includes papers on all of these topics by experts in many fields. The consensus among workshop participants is that material on ethics should be an ongoing part of engineering education and engineering practice.