“All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will prevail over those which train lawyers. No nation has ever sued its way to greatness.”——-Richard lamm
Many engineering developments of this century with immense impacts on our lives have not been accompanied by realistic engineering views of those impacts on the social fabric or the environment. Would the societal consequences have been different if engineers had been more involved in a systematic study of engineering’s complex role in society, had a working dialogue with social scientists, and had better communication with the public?
For instance, could we have anticipated that the automobile would turn out to be a severe source of pollution as well as a powerful instrument of urban change, that radios in every household would catalyze the political emancipation of women, or that television would influence our values and contribute to functional illiteracy? Could we have anticipated that a broader base of affluence brought about by technology in the nations of the West would be accompanied by the rise of anomie and a drug culture among not only the poor and the disenfranchised, but also the more affluent who have in many material ways benefited the most from technology? Could we have anticipated that abundant energy for industries and homes or the invention of plastic materials would have such serious environmental consequences, and that “cleaner” technologies, such as computers, would damage the earth ‘s ozone layer because of the society chlorofluorocarbons in the fabrication of microchips?
The list of impacts and side effects of technology is long and growing and has contributed to society’s ambivalence about technology. While it would be wrong to blame the engineer for the apparent lack of interest by large portions of society in understanding the technological process with its constraints and possibilities, engineers can do much to reduce society’s ambivalence if they could overcome their own parochialism. For example, a gap that exists sometime between the perceptions of the engineers and those of the rest of society can be seen in educational technology. Engineers have tended to focus on the development of new technologies rather than the social setting —municipal bureaucracies, school systems, and homes—in which that technology is to become acceptable if it is to be successful
Part of the difficulty engineers encounter in dealing with social issues has to do with too many definitions of engineering and the lack of agreed upon and shared tenets.
The role of engineers can’t be underrated in our society so it high time engineer take up their responsibilities in all ratification for better human living and regulatory body should also be a platform of producing competent life changer not ones who are detriment to their society
Adeyinka Ademola Abdulrasheed,a Mechanical engineering student at the Polytechnic Ibadan. He is the Editor in Chief for NIMechE-NSF, the national student body for mechanical engineering students under NIMechE. He also serve on the press council the Polytechnic of Ibadan, Deputy Editor in Chief for FENG press and lastly Director for Special duties for Junior chamber international, The Polytechnic of Ibadan, he a student engineer, a writer and an active citizen