The Origin and Implications of Engineers' Obligations to the Public Welfare

Abstract
The Codes of Ethics of the engineering profession require engineers to "blow the whistle" on their clients or employers whenever they believe such action is required to protect the public interest, and the Codes also require engineers to be loyal and faithful and maintain confidentiality toward their clients or employers. This paper formulates an approach to both justifying the "whistleblowing" provision of the Codes and resolving the conflict between it and the loyal employee provision. The foundation of this approach is an analogy between engineering and social experimentation.
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