Moral Exemplars

This section gives detailed stories of scientists and engineers in difficult circumstances who have demonstrated wisdom that enabled them to fulfill their responsibilities as scientists and engineers. Their actions provide guidance for others who want to do the right thing in circumstances that are similarly difficult. Many of our stories of moral leadership are illustrated with graphics.

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  • This section includes descriptions of individual stories that may be classified as moral exemplars but do not fit well into one of the other groups.
  • In contrast to accident cases, these exemplars are intented to give neophyte engineers examples of engineers and scientists responding well to situations, so they have positive examples not only of actions, but to the extent possible, reasoning behind those actions. By including both cases in which others also acted well in response to the engineer's actions, and cases in which they did not, we intend to avoid the fallacy of judging every effort by its outcome.
  • This section is dedicated to the stories of engineers who have been recognized for outstanding moral courage in the face of difficult professional circumstances. Please email the Online Ethic Center if you know of other award recipients whose stories may inspire young engineers.
Cite this page: "Moral Exemplars" Online Ethics Center for Engineering 7/28/2009 OEC Accessed: Thursday, July 11, 2019 <>