The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 82 (2004) > Issues > Issue 21 > Responsibility and regulation: ethics - value and reward
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Responsibility and regulation: ethics - value and reward

Nature of a professional service We human beings have a role to play in relating our activities to the well-being of society, and to the care of the world in which we find ourselves. The Oxford Dictionary defines this duty as ethics: ‘The rules of conduct recognised in certain limited departments of human life. The science of human duty in its widest extent, including the science of law etc.’ Ethical decisions are concerned specifically with quality – with justice, with equity, with the consequences for all affected by the decision, with the personal and collective responsibilities which lie beyond the contractual obligations into which we enter. In complex developed societies certain functions, requiring special knowledge and responsibilities, affecting the quality of life of others, are described as professional, and the duties of practitioners are defined and monitored. Such professionals are required to relate their particular skills and knowledge, of both the humanities and the sciences, to the needs of society. James Armstrong, OBE BSc, FREng, FIStructE, FICE, CEng, Hon Deng

Author(s): Armstrong, James

Keywords: ethics;professional engineers;responsibilities;professional institutions;regulations;case studies