The Public Discussion of the Work of Other Engineers—Ethical or Unethical?

by Harold H. Wagle, Grad. Student; Wharton Grad. Div., Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.; formerly, Student, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Leigh Univ., Bethlehem, PA,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 1, Pg. 37-39

Document Type: Journal Paper


This public discussion of the work of other engineers is, like the majority of ethics problems, a complex matter. Although the issue was somewhat simplified in the original canons adopted in 1947 by the Engineer's Council for Professional Development, its rule was lost through revision in 1963. Following other canons, an engineer is obligated both to contact and to receive consideration from the engineer with whom he has dispute. In the event that this ample consideration would not result in resolution of the problem, there are two possible recourses. One involves the original 1947 canons of the ECPD by which the dissenting engineer would resort to the available engineering forums of publications and societies, and the other recourse being the proper authorities. Neither involves public discussion. The danger of open discussion of an esoteric body of technical knowledge is found in likelihood of its being misconstrued by the layman. Public discussion is an unattractive alternative.

Subject Headings: Ethics | Professional development | Dispute resolution | Publications | Public participation

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