From the Editor
“As engineers, we were going to be in a position to change the world – not just study it.”
– Henry Petroski
Engineers have the potential to change the world. However, with that, comes the great responsibility to not just change the world, but change the world for the better. In doing so, it’s imperative to keep ethics at the forefront of engineering. Volume 4 Issue 2 delves into this, exploring emerging and existing technologies and their ethicality.
I’m honored to be the Editor in Chief this year and welcome you to the second issue of Volume 4. This issue is comprised of four papers. The first paper in this edition, written by Brandon Dillon, explores spaceflight and space tourism. Companies have expanded space flight into the private sector and have begun developing technologies to commercialize space flight. Brandon highlights, however, that as the commercialization of space travel deviates from the traditional idea of space flight, questions arise about the ethicality of such endeavors.
Ryan Dale examines the ethics of the so-called “Loudness Wars” in the second paper of this edition. He explains that the audio industry has largely escaped responsibility for the effects that loud music has on listeners.
Finally, the issue has two papers on the ethicality of autonomous vehicles, taking two different approaches to the topic. My own paper, which was selected before I assumed the position of Editor in Chief, argues that autonomous vehicles are inherently unethical because of the inability to create a uniform ethical code and the programmer bias that is naturally introduced into the vehicle code. Teagan Ampe’s paper, however, suggests the Rawlsian algorithm as a possible solution to the problem and emphasizes the necessity of creating a uniform ethical code backed by the national government.
All of these articles delve into the ethicality of technology that engineers are currently creating. It is important now more than ever to analyze the impact of such technology in the world.Isabel Yarwood Perez, VCE Editor-in-Chief