Engineering ethics in France: A historical perspective

TitleEngineering ethics in France: A historical perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsDidier, C.
Secondary TitleTechnology in society

Until recently, there have been no engineering ethics courses, no research programs on the topic, nor a specific code of ethics for engineers in France. For cultural and historical reasons, the question of whether or not engineering is a profession has not been an issue. Therefore, professional ethics in engineering have not developed as they have in English-speaking countries. If a code of ethics is considered to be one way of studying engineering ethics, where should such an investigation begin? A historical investigation shows that the French engineering profession did not successfully organize itself into any kind of association, and the subsequent scattering of professionals led to an absence of discourse among engineers. Even if such a professional association had produced a code of ethics, in France more than in other countries, engineers’ perceptions of ethical issues within their profession needs further study.