Politicians Are Not Technologists: Technologists Are Not Politicians

by Henry Petroski, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Duke Univ., Durham, N.C. 27706,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 2, Pg. 162-165

Document Type: Journal Paper


The view that there are too few engineers in the legislative branch of government is confirmed. It is argued that the lack of scientists and engineers in elected public offices creates an imbalance of professional perspectives which will affect decision making on public policy on technological issues ranging from engineering education to advanced weapons systems. It is also shown, however, that the interplay between society and technology is gradually becoming more balanced.

Subject Headings: Public policy | Engineering education | Systems engineering | Legislation | Decision making | Weapons

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