Welcome! If you are a young scientist or engineer, and are interested in how to pursue your work or studies according to high standards of ethics, this site is designed for you! Much of what you already know about ethics has come from childhood training. As you move into professional life, however, that training may need some additions and refinement to deal with the complex situations you start to encounter. This site seeks to help you think more clearly and professionally about ethics.
When dealing with ethics, it is important to have a clear sense of what a web site can and cannot do. It can increase sensitivity about where ethical questions arise, and can also improve skill in moral reasoning. Yet moral action requires more than sensitivity and thought; it also requires commitment and perseverance. These latter human qualities are more deeply rooted in character. Surprisingly, however, the simple and time-honored of virtues is discussed relatively little in presentations of engineering ethics. Engineering, science, and the study of virtues share a common cradle with the ancient Greeks, and involve very similar ways of thinking. This site attempts to use that similarity to fill the character-oriented gap that is often found elsewhere.
This site employs both fictional and real-life case studies to emphasize principles laid out. We are aware that many site viewers may not yet be practicing engineers, so the fictional cases studies are intended to illustrate the engineering ethics principles in situations more commonly encountered by such viewers. Also, by presenting real-life case studies, viewers can see how these situations also commonly present in the professional work world. This site is broken down into four areas; Basics, Ethical Reasoning, Applications, and Advanced Applications. Each provides principles with accompanying real-life and fictional case studies.