National Institute for Engineering Ethics New Movie
Henry’s Daughters ©2010
NIEE produced Henry’s Daughters to raise awareness of the ethical aspects of engineering work, advance knowledge and understanding of professional standards and public obligations and expectations, improve skills in moral reasoning, and strengthen personal dedication to exemplary conduct. Executive Producers were Joseph Herkert, Michael Loui, William Marcy, Steven Nichols, and Jimmy Smith. The entire NIEE Executive Board members served as Senior Investigators and Technical Advisors. Discussion Questions
1. Are there ethical implications to Henry, a lobbyist, hosting the senator on his expensive yacht? 2. Is there a legal or ethical limit to the level at which Henry should host the senator? 3. Is there an accepted code of practice or ethics for lobbyists? If not, suggest a few ethical statements for lobbyists. 4. Was it ethical for Henry to pull strings to get Julie her internship? 5. To what extent should engineers consider the political factors and social impacts to their engineering work? Ethics and New Technology Issues
6. What are the responsibilities of engineers when developing new technologies whose risks are difficult to foresee? 7. If GUIDME has the “best” technology, why should cost and other factors matter? 8. Because the experience base for a new technology is limited, it is difficult to write technical specifications. If engineers believe that the specifications are inadequate for future needs, should they recommend a system with characteristics exceeding those specifications? Conflict of Interest
9. Was it appropriate for Henry and his daughters to work on the same project for different parties? 10. How should Laura and Henry have handled their apparent conflict of interest? 11. How should Laura and Julie have handled their apparent conflict of interest? 12. Was Laura given the project because of her engineering talents and work ethic or because of Henry’s connections? If so, this might be a conflict of interest. If you are involved in a conflict of interest, what should you do? Gender Issues
13. Does the appropriate response to sexual harassment depend on the setting – for example, whether one is in a situation with one’s peers vs. with one’s supervisor? 14. Are sexist comments disguised as "jokes" acceptable?
15. Would Henry or the senator have treated events differently if either or both of Henry’s children had been sons? 16. Does the fact that Laura and Julie are attractive enter into any part of the interaction? Should it? 17. Is there a’ glass ceiling’ issue in this story?
18. How should the engineering profession address either the glass ceiling with the men’s club issue? 19. Is it permissible for a male employee to put his hand on a female employee’s shoulders? Or vice versa? For a male employee to put his hand on another male employee’s shoulders? 20. Is it permissible for a male employee to complement the female employee’s appearance? Or vice versa? Intellectual Property Issues
21. What is proprietary information?
22. Are there ethical limits to what the sisters can share with each other about their work? 23. Is it appropriate for an engineer to discuss work matters with family members? 24. How should employees and engineers decide whether to share some of their information from work when they go home? 25. When and why might using unlicensed software be unethical? 26. Is Julie justified in feeling harmed by the fact that some work she did for OUTOCAR was used as a dissertation without giving her credit? Issues for Henry
27. What were the unethical actions of Henry?
28. What, if anything, did Henry do that was ethically laudable?
Issues for Laura
29. What were the unethical actions of Laura?
30. What, if anything, did Lara do that was ethically laudable? Issues for Julie
31. What were Julie’s unethical actions?
32. What, if anything, did Julie do that was ethically laudable? 33. As...
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