There are different objects and motives between scientists and engineers. Science is to create new knowledge (episteme), while technology (techne) is to create new utility. Both types of social responsibility are required for engineer, because modern technology is tightly connected with science. The relationship between ethics for scientists and engineers is discussed as an evolution of ethical objects. A short history of engineering societies in U.S.A. and Japan are introduced with their ethical perspectives. As a conclusion, respect for fundamental rights for existence of those who stand in, with, and around engineers and their societies is needed for better engineering ethics.
Environmental responsibility of corporations has been changed drastically in the last 20 years. In 1980s, pollution prevention was the main mandate for corporations and in 1990s global scale environmental issues such as global warming must be also considered by at least industries. In the year of 2000, United Nations decided to make a challenge towards sustainability of human activities on the Earth, and since then, every corporation must take this concept into account when policy for its own business is described. Within this framework, some companies have succeeded to be evaluated as “environmental conscious companies” and enjoyed success also in their business. The reality of sustainability is very complex and any company must consider rather long future, say more than 30 years, in the strategy of its operation. All engineers should watch the direction and the norm carefully, which their own company is now aiming at, with enough knowledge regarding the trend of total human activities in relation to the limitation of the Earth.
The importance of engineering ethics education has become widely recognized in the industrialized countries including Japan. This paper examines the background against which engineering ethics education is required, and reviews its objectives, methods, and challenges, as well as its current state. In pointing out important issues associated with the apparent acceptance and quantitative development of ethics education, especially after the establishment of the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education in 1999, the author stresses that the most serious problem is the lack of common understanding on the objectives of engineering ethics education. As a strategy to improve the situation, the so-called “Ethics-across-the-Curriculum” approach is introduced. The author also claims that business/organization ethics which is consistent with engineering ethics should be promoted in Japan.
The Science Council of Japan (SCJ) is an academic body that represents Japanese 700,000 scientists. The activity of SCJ is changing rapidly, in which the science associated with society is increasingly important. In this context, the engineering education for ethics is treated at SCJ. The importance of engineering ethics was first recognized at the 5th division of 17th term (1999-2001) of SCJ, in which education for engineering ethics based on the analysis of ethical problems occurred in Japan is recommended and it asked the engineering societies to establish the code of ethics. Following this proposal, SCJ founded a committee to treat the problem at 18th and 19th terms. The committee proposed a procedure to prevent misconduct associated with scientific activities and the importance of education of science and engineering ethics especially for young students at tertiary education.
High interest in engineering ethics in engineering education in Japan is, firstly, to meet the requirement of the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education and, secondly, due to recent technological troubles in industry. Since the subject of engineering ethics has broad and deep backgound, it exceeds scope and ability of an engineering society representing one engineering field. Last year, the joint committee of engineering ethics has been established in cooperation of 12 leading engineering societies, associations and the Engineering Academy of Japan. Here is a short report of activities and prospects of the joint committee, mainly focusing on engineering education.
IPEJ (The Institution of Professional Engineers, Japan) is the representing engineering association of Japan organized under the Professional Engineer Law. Its role is to render services with respect to training to the professional engineers, guidance and communication of members in order to contribute maintaining their dignity, improving competence and advancing engineering practice. In 2000, the PE Law was amended substantially, then, IPEJ's activities are now enlarging. Those activities are concentrating into assistance to IPD for the Engineers-in-Training in view of engineering ethics, guidance to CPD for the Professional Engineers, and acceleration of capacity building for PE's as global engineers through the framework of international mutual recognition of qualifications.
The purpose of a company is contribution to society by operating activities. Therefore, it has a company principle and “Business ethics” conduct codes in each. On the other hand, many engineers with specialties are performing business toward the same purpose at the same company. And it will produce new inconsistency by introducing “Engineer ethics” and “the ethics of each professional” all at once in the situation of that company. Then, the engineer ethics education in company needs to carry out by arranging company conduct codes and Engineer ethics. This paper proposes what the company ethics education should be from exemplifying results by make activities and engineer ethics education of the corporate ethics observance in the Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.
This paper is outline for the development of children's mind in modern family and school, and is reviewed on the development theory of morality and prosociality related to engineering ethics education. In particular we are reviewed on the discipline and education of morality and prosociality from infancy to adulthood.
Clear and concise information about current ethical systems and the reasoning behind it/them varies according to the various communities. Moreover, the idea of Independent thought is evident in engineering ethics too. When the issue of globalization is brought up, I want to establish a unified thought for the future of the Earth and how engineering theories and thoughts can be and are special. After all, it is necessary to make use of the best thought by educating the public.
This paper aims to discuss the relation between risk communication and engineering ethics. While public safety has been regarded as the paramount issue in engineering ethics, the importance of risk communication in assuring public safety has been overlooked. As for the problems with risk information, the literature of engineering ethics has discussed them in mainly terms of informed consent. However, the concept of informed consent is not applicable to engineering, for it presupposes a face-to-face relationship between the sender and the receiver of risk information. In this paper I would like to argue that the concept of risk communication should be introduced into engineering ethics, and I also wish to characterize the features of a form of risk communication suitable for engineering.
We are discussing about many aspects of research integrity of individual scientist, who faces the globalization of research ethics in the traditional culture and custom of Japan. Topics are scientific misconduct (fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism) in writing paper and presenting research results. Managements of research material, research record, grant money, authorship, and conflict of interest are also analyzed and discussed. Finally, we make 5 recommendations to improve research integrity in Japan.
Using examples of major accidents caused by technical technology are effective when teaching engineering ethics in undergraduate courses because almost all students have had no actual experience in technical problems or accidents in their lives. The typical accidents that have been selected in the past for this purpose by lecturers are limited in Japanese colleges or in textbooks. Some examples are the Minamata disease, the Kanemi oil PCB contamination, the space shuttle “Challenger” accident, the Ford “Pinto” design problem, Mitsubishi Motor's scandal and the unclear power plant accident at Tokai. However, it is difficult to decide whether or not these typical accidents are suitable for the teaching of engineering ethics. The responsibility of an engineer in Japan is strictly limited because he has no authority to finally decide upon the problem of ethics even if the item is purely technical and he is the best person to make the decision. The reason is discussed focusing on 1) the concept of the “profession” of medical doctors and engineers and 2) the relationships between the treatment, position, honor and responsibility of engineers in Japanese society.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify a feature of “ethics” for engineers, and consider the aim and the meaning of teaching ethics to undergraduates. Firstly, we analyze the present state of engineering ethics education in Japan. Secondly, we examine the trendy idea that ethics cases are analogous to design problem and point out the strengths and the limitations of it. Finally, some suggestions for future engineering ethics education in Japan are made.
In Japan, most of the classes for engineering ethics are held for JABEE. But I think to hold the class of engineering ethics, as an optional class is also useful. In this article, showing the content of my class, I argued the importance of the class of engineering ethics as an optional class.
In the context of independent profession based societies, ethics charter/codes of professional bodies have significant influence on the conduct of engineers. Contrarily in Japan, most of active engineers are in-house and feel immediate identity as the member of firm or institution, rather than professional bodies. Therefore, establishment and operation of engineering ethics management system (E2ms) is essential for incentive to make innovative and ethical decision with confidence. The paper introduces the outline of the educational kit for E2ms developed by the author. The kit aims to enhance ability of management relevant to E2ms. The kit also involves ten cases for case method teaching. The test use of the kit indicates the potential to create satisfactory educational achievement.
Education on ethics for corporate employees, especially for engineers, seems to become increasingly important for most of companies in Japan, because some affairs or scandals caused by ethical problem in many companies were likely to subject them to operational disadvantages. Even in Hitachi, Ltd., we have worked on education of engineering ethics for two years. In this paper, we describe some activities of committees on engineering ethics, an e-learning training course which is usable on our intranet e-learning system, and a short-term in-house training course operated regularly in our training institute. And we also refer to its dissemination activities to employees in each division and some subsidiaries.
The aim of this paper is to propose that engineering ethics education should be regarded as an essential component of a values-sharing program of the engineering community. The authors claim that the concept of “values-sharing” can be utilized in order to avoid unnecessary impediments associated with negative connotations of “ethics” in postwar Japan and promote a systematic development and implementation of engineering ethics education. The process of engineering ethics education is reconstructed as a continuous process of values-sharing with so-called PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cyclical stages. The authors examine issues related to each stage such as the needs for redefinition of educational objectives, the case-method as a promising pedagogy, and the challenges in assessment and evaluation for engineering ethics education.
Engineering ethics is a complex hierarchical system consisting of an individual, professional and organizational ethics. It is, therefore, important to recognize the interrelated nature of them, and select the adequate contents according to the aim of engineering ethics at universities. This report describes an empirical learning approach, towards engineering ethics through an environmental engineering program based on field works for freshmen where numerous facts, roles and responsibilities coexist across several fields. We found that the program helps students understand the uncooked but attractive themes, thereby the hierarchical aspects of engineering ethics through role play and proposal for solutions. We also recognized that the proactive and challenging mind raised in this program would be carried on to the following engineering ethics course for sophomores.
The ability of continuing study and working with high responsibility to the society are indispensable to all of professional engineers. The continuing engineering educations of professional engineers, such as initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) are essential for the quality assurance of the profession. We propose a trial study of the engineering ethics education for the professional engineers' IPD and CPD activities. We discuss and demonstrate the effectiveness of the study with respect to the continuing engineering educations and the social collaboration.
The class of engineering ethics carried out in the department of mechanical system engineering of Hiroshima University is introduced, and the effects of teaching engineering ethics are analyzed using the responses of students against questions by the instructor, their reports and the results of an examination. The analysis indicates the importance of case studies and good advice by an instructor to improve the skill of students to analyze and deal with problems concerned with engineering ethics. However, it is quite difficult to change ethical awareness of students to think of ethical problems of engineering at all times. The importance of teaching a fundamental knowledge of engineering ethics and the difficulty in evaluating an academic record of the class are also discussed.
While teaching engineering ethics to students at Shinshu University, we have observed an increased consciousness of engineering ethics according to their grade level. We surveyed the students through a questionnaire to further investigate this matter. Our interest is in the followings ; students' engineering ethical framework before formal university classes, their experience discussing such topics with their families, as well as their level of confidence to handle ethical problems upon graduation in their professional career. This survey confirms that formal classes of engineering ethics bring students to higher levels of consciousness with regards to engineering ethics. The JABEE program is effective to a great extent in this matter.
This paper discusses the possibilities of teaching engineering ethics in universities. This is based on the teaching experience of a newly developed course that has been introduced to the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Fukui, since April 2004. Entitled “ethics for engineers”, the course targeted senior-level students and makes use of a newly written textbook that emphasizes social aspects of science and technology. To encourage students to think and form their own opinions with regards to their role as engineers in a modern technological society, the book is complemented by other materials such as videos, newspaper articles and some other relevant books. Students are also encouraged to write reports that reflect their own opinion on subjects such as what kind of engineers they intend to be, or what do ethics mean to them? The paper will conclude by giving a course evaluation including students' response, highlighting valuable experiences and stating the importance of further developing this topic in engineering education.
This paper deals with an engineering ethics education that aims to give wide view and to acquire practice power. In the subject “Engineering ethics” of our Advanced engineering course, two teachers with a different specialized field are lecturing as “Manufacturing engineering and engineering ethics” and “Engineering ethics in network society” to treat various views. We describe in detail contents of the subject, an education effect, and an evaluation of student attending the class.
Institutions of higher education in engineering, such as universities and technical colleges, are starting to offer classes in ethics for technicians and engineers. However, at the moment, most educational institutions are exploring for an easy-to-understand method of teaching these technical ethics classes to students. This paper reports on the results of omnibus style classes in “ethics for engineers”, conducted by 6 professional engineers actively engaged as technical personnel. The effects of these classes were tested in a mock preliminary engineer examination. The exam results indicate that students' capacity to comprehend and analyze ethical issues for technicians had improved relative to their level before attending the lectures.
In engineering ethics education, the virtual experiencing of dilemmas is essential. Learning through the case study method is a particularly effective means. Many case studies are, however, difficult to deal with because they often include many complex causal relationships and social factors. It would thus be convenient if there were a tool that could analyze the factors of a case example and organize them into a hierarchical structure to get a better understanding of the whole picture. The tool that was developed applies a cause-and-effect matrix and simple graph theory. It analyzes the causal relationship between facts in a hierarchical structure and organizes complex phenomena. The effectiveness of this tool is shown by presenting an actual example.
What is of importance of engineering ethics education is how to properly evaluate whether students have acquired the ability to make ethical judgements. Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) has launched a new curriculum in 2004 in which university-wide engineering ethics education program is realized. As a part of the program, a capstone course, “Science and Engineering Ethics” is taught to 1,700 students by several instructors. It is quite obvious that how to evaluate will be a crucial problem. To mitigate the difficulty, KIT plans to introduce an e-learning tool, Agora, to the course. Developed by Dutch technological universities, it is designed for engineering ethics education. It enables structured analyses of cases, which is essential for engineering ethics education.
To cultivate the students' ability of appropriate ethical judgments is a purpose of engineering ethics education. How to measure the ability of ethical judgments must be devised in order that the achievement of the purpose can be properly assessed. This paper proposes that three kinds of knowledge should be taught in an engineering ethics course because of the necessity for their making appropriate ethical judgments. And these three kinds of knowledge would be also the three aspects from which the students' ability is assessed.
At the present day, a movement trying to establish a global code of ethics for science and engineering is in activity. The author overviews the context of this movement, and examines the possibility of engineering ethics education which uses global code of ethics. In this paper, the engineering ethics education which uses code of ethics in general will be considered, and an expected function of global code of ethics will be also. Engineering ethics education in the new century should be aimed to share the values among different countries and cultures. To use global code of ethics as a tool for such education, the code should include various values, especially Asian values which engineering ethics has paid little attention to.