Using the Chernobyl Incident to Teach Engineering Ethics
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This paper discusses using the Chernobyl Incident as a case study in engineering ethics instruction. Groups of students are asked to take on the role of a faction involved in the Chernobyl disaster and to defend their decisions in a mock debate. The results of student surveys and the Engineering and Science Issues Test indicate that the approach is very popular with students and has a positive impact on moral reasoning. The approach incorporates technical, communication and teamwork skills and has many of the features suggested by recent literature.
KeywordsEngineering ethics Ethics education Role-play Constructive controversy Debate Chernobyl
Defining issues test version 2
Engineering and science issues test
Accrediting board for engineering and technology
Reaktor Bolshoy Moshchnosti Kanalniy
National society of professional engineers
The author would like to thank Jason Borenstein and Matt Drake—co-authors of the ESIT—for their assistance in its use.
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