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Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover

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eric-odessit
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
eric-odessit   5/14/2008 5:07:41 PM
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Peter, As long as there are bad guys with bombs in the world, you have to build bombs for the good guys. Having said that, there is much bigger amount of engineering time spent on life improvement and life saving. Just have a look around any hospital. There is no drama in the engineering work, so it is much harder to make a TV show about engineers than about lawyers or doctors. Eric.

Peter_Moore
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
Peter_Moore   5/14/2008 2:17:01 PM
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I'd disagree with AnalogDude's comment. The issue in Bill's commentary is _respect_ and not _recognition_. Our loss of esteem in the public eye has serious consequences for our ability to participate in the course of social and political evolution. While we do seek knowledge and enlightenment, if our opinions are not respected then we loose the ability to be a conservative force in this very dynamic (unstable) world of ours. Personally, I believe that the disproportionate engineering efforts put into generally destructive products - read bombs - has led the public to seek a less threatening and more trivial group of gurus such as sports stars and pop idols. Bad news since these 'respected' groups rarely hold humanistic values at heart due to the extremely competitive nature of their careers (read as race to riches). I fear that the world that my children are growing up in is generally more frustrating, less personal, and leading to a general breakdown of values important to human life - and I feel impotent in not being able to control the future that they will inherit ! Having said that I am at a loss to identify ways in which the 'nerds' and 'geeks' that inhabit the science and engineering world can regain their public respect. Maybe stop building bombs ?

phgphd
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
phgphd   5/9/2008 3:57:28 AM
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Bill, you answered the why with your own comment that AP was hiring reporters to cover celebrities. Our society today is more interested in actresses, rich and famous. They take for granted the buildings, cell phones, and computers that make this the modern era. Engineers haven't changed, its society that has.

SueV
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
SueV   5/8/2008 9:00:23 PM
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I don't know its ratings and you would not expect it, but "Medium" has a very favorable and believable main character who is an engineer and who is not remotely a geek. I guess the engineer offsets the premise of the show.

Mark6120
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
Mark6120   5/8/2008 4:18:54 PM
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1. Design Squad on PBS - enough said. 2. In OTHER COUNTRIES, this stigma does not exist. It is a purely US phenomenon. Scientific advancement takes along time (frequently), and our culture - especially our BUSINESS culture - demands the "pill I can swallow now in order to make everything better." No one wants to wait or pay for the best result. And they don't want to hear "No."

tb1
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
tb1   5/7/2008 4:24:46 PM
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I've got an idea. How about a big-budget Hollywood hit movie, starring an engineer. He could design and build something--like some kind of iron suit that flies. (I like the Big Band Theory myself).

AnalogDude
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
AnalogDude   5/7/2008 3:43:42 PM
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An engineer seeks not excitement or adventure but knowledge and enlightenment. Pay no attention to transient celebrity headlines, you see our value embodied in the $3000 HD LCDs and $400+ Iphones. I for one don't want any cameras following me around when I leave the house...

frankmlinar
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
frankmlinar   5/7/2008 1:03:04 PM
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Oops. Big Bang Theory

frankmlinar
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
frankmlinar   5/7/2008 1:02:06 PM
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I love the Big Band Theory. And I really don't care much what Hollywood thinks of me. 99% of their shows are dumb. And don't get me started on reality shows. I get paid well. I'm happy.

Old Fart Peter
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re: Commentary: Engineers need an image makeover
Old Fart Peter   5/6/2008 8:26:27 PM
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The US currently produces far too few new engineers and scientists. As an immigrant myself (from the UK) over 40 years ago, with three children raised in the US, and soon to be dependent on just Social Security and my investments, i.e. primarily on the US economy, this worries me. I think a major improvement in the image of scientists and engineers would be good for the long-term economic health of the country, and certainly replacing the current fashion for celebrity (fundamentally empty) and sports heroes (few openings, and usually ephemeral) by an enhanced appreciation of real contributors to modern living would have to be good.

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