Engineers in Political Decision-Making Process

by H. Lanier Hickman, Jr., (M.ASCE), Pres.; Hickman Associates, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 117-121

Document Type: Journal Paper


The engineer is not involved in the political-decision making process. This lack of involvement can be attributed principally to the unwillingness of the engineer to get involved with the public and political figures. It is easier, therefore, for the engineer not to share in the responsibilities of the public reaction to the impact on society that always occurs when public policies are implemented. Because of the lack of involvement the engineer, once held in esteem by the public and political figures, no longer is held in esteem and, in fact, is now demeanded. The end result is a loss of control on those factors that affect the practice of engineering. The engineer's decision-making skills are needed, and a commitment to get involved has to be made. That commitment will have to be followed by the investment of time and effort by individual engineers and their societies to become involved early on with the public in the making of public policy.

Subject Headings: Public policy | Political factors | Decision making | Public participation | Investments

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