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Ethics in Food Science

            The Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines "ethics- as the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or governing a particular group, culture or profession. Ethics are of special importance to practicing professionals, including engineers. Professions such as engineers, doctors, teacher, and lawyers have a greater responsibility to society to do their jobs ethically; however there are core concepts in engineering ethics that can be used to monitor the way engineers do their jobs. These concepts can be summarized into three main categories: 1. The public's interest. 2. The qualities of truth, honesty and fairness and 3. Professional performance.
             Using these core concepts in engineering ethics as a guide and reading the Harvard Business case study on the Challenger disaster, I can clearly identify a few instances in which the managers on the project encountered different issues in Engineering Ethics.
             One of the first instances was the case where they encountered problems with the O-rings "which are seals on the field joint on the space shuttle. The problem was identified and it was emphasized that there was need to redesign the field joint. They even formed a Seal Erosion Task Team but little progress was made on solving the problem. Obviously there was an ethics problem here; the engineers are responsible to make sure that this problem is fixed as soon as possible.
             Another instance was when the managers and engineers had the telephone conference. There were mixed reactions between the engineers and the managers, whether this flight should be launched or not. Finally they concluded that a "management decision- should be made concerning the launched. The managers did not really allow the engineers to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. In this case, it was obvious that the engineers were under pressure to meet a launch schedule but pressure is inherent in engineering.

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