Background History

The idea of a shadow code was articulated in a 2015 ASEE conference paper:

A shadow code presents a challenge to mainstream engineering ethics and may be in some places controversial. It may make some uncomfortable. It may draw out conflict by highlighting differences in perspective. It is helpful to remember that these differences already exist, and moving from latent to articulated dissent is healthy and constructive. The shadow code will never be adopted in whole, and that is not its purpose. Rather it may ultimately help to keep consensus moving in engineering societies. As counterintuitive as the goal of impermanent agreement may initially seem in the search for practical day-to-day guidance in our work, it is exactly this more ambitious, more reflexive prescriptive goal that will make our codes less static and more responsive to a broader audience.

This project seeks to apply a critical lens to the professional codes of ethics promulgated throughout the engineering profession. Moreover, it seeks to provide an outlet for hosting the conversation about a shadow code; imagine what engineering codes of ethics might include that extends beyond their current iterations.