Can Professional Institutions Save the World? Climate Change, Ethical Transformation, and the Lessons of History 

Partners and collaborators

Engineers Without Borders UK

Postgraduate students

Josephine Sirotkin


The Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Engineering Council, in their shared Statement of Ethical Principles, explicitly state that engineers have a duty to “minimise… any adverse effect on… the natural environment for their own and succeeding generations”, and also state that engineers should also provide “responsible leadership”.

However, the evidence suggests that the engineering profession - taken as a whole - has not succeeded in keeping the impacts on the environment to acceptable levels.

Working with Engineers Without Borders UK, among others, this project aims to explore the history and sociology of professional institutions to consider what is necessary for a profession to fully mature into a profession that is willing and able to protect the public interest in an effective manner and to consider whether this might be attainable for the engineering profession.