Micaela Eisman Shaun Raj Professional and Ethical Responsibility
Overview • Introduction • Definitions • Professional Applications • General Professional & Ethical Standards • Whistle-blowing • Case Study • Summary
What is ethics? • “The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.”  • ‘NUFF SAID!
How does that relate to a professional environment? • Respecting others’ intellectual property by giving due credit. • Avoiding conflicts of interest. • Rejecting bribery. • Honesty and realism in stating claims and estimates. • Etc.
General Engineering Professional and Ethical Standards • IEEE: • Seek, accept, and offer honest criticism. • Improve the understanding of technology. • Avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious actions.
General Engineering Professional and Ethical Standards • ABET: • Ability to apply knowledge of math, science, and engineering. • Design and conduct experiments as well as analyze and interpret data. • Effective communication.
General Engineering Professional and Ethical Standards • ASEE: • Enhancement of human welfare with application of skills. • Undertake professional responsibilities only in areas of competence. • Treat all people fairly, regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, religion, profession, etc.
Whistle-blowing • “One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.” 
Examples • 2006: Thomas Drake • Executive at NSA, worried about post 9-11 surveillance. Reported to the newspaper – indicted for obstruction of justice and espionage. • 1996: Jeffrey Wigand • VP for R&D at Brown and Williamson Tobacco, admitted the company doctored nicotine content to make their product more addictive. • 1972: W. Mark Felt • Gave information to bring down Nixon during Watergate.
Ethical Implications? • Should he have blown the whistle? • Should he have placed the welfare of others over his career? • Did the Energy Department manage the concern properly? • Should the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board have gotten involved?
Case Study – Paradyne Computers • (1980) SSA requested new computers for field offices – gave contract to Paradyne for $115 million for 1800 computers • Provide access to central database for processing claims and issuing new SSN’s • Computers failed initial testing, so the SSA relaxed specifications • After delivery, many malfunctioned
Case Study – Paradyne Computers • Paradyne proposed selling P8400 computer with P105 OS, which was not built yet • RFP prohibited prototypes • Parts were not tested before integration • Bid was written as though the OS was already in existence • Paradyne demoed a different computer system, not the one they intended to sell to the SSA
Case Study – Paradyne Computers • Results: • Put secure information at risk • Took 2 years to resolve, wasting government resources and time: • Justice Department • Health and Human Services
Case Study – Paradyne Computers • Ethical Issues: • Company lied about the state of the product • Adequate testing was not performed • Should the SSA have relaxed requirements after initial testing? • Should the SSA reopen bids after requirements were relaxed?
Summary • Introduction • Definitions • Professional Applications • General Professional & Ethical Standards • Whistle-blowing • Case Study • Summary
Derivation Recall: and = and Recall =
Citations • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethics • http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whistle-blowing • http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/06/nation/la-na-adv-nuclear-whistleblower-20110705 • http://www.onlineethics.org/Education/instructessays/herkert2.aspxhttp://www.onlineethics.org/Education/instructessays/herkert2.aspx • http://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/governance/p7-8.html • http://www.asee.org/member-resources/resources/Code_of_Ethics.pdf • http://www.ele.uri.edu/courses/ele400/f12/cases.pdf • http://www.troll.me/2011/07/08/philosoraptor/is-it-ethical-to-question-the-ethics-of-your-ethics-professor/ • http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/05/30/10-whistleblowers-heard-around-the-world/