The National Society of Professional Engineers is a minor player in the Infrastructure Cult. A couple years ago I had to take them to task when they ran an absurd lead article in their publication PE, but they graciously let me write a response for a subsequent issue. They are a far cry from the American Society of Civil Engineers, an organization I consider shameful.
Sadly, today I received an invitation from NSPE to comment on their new Statement of Principles. I thought this a worthy use of my time on a Friday and so I clicked on it. Here's their statement of principles:
NSPE works to improve the lives of both the public and the PEs that serve it through efforts to:
• Define the PE license as the highest measure of professionalism and qualification to protect the public health, safety, and welfare;
• Promote awareness and recognition of the value and meaning of the PE license; and
• Protect the integrity of the profession and the welfare of the public by vigorously opposing the practice of engineering by unqualified persons; and advocating the highest standards of licensure, ethics, and professional practice.
So, predictably, the National Society of Professional Engineers, despite a weak reference to serving the public, is all about protecting its members. You're only qualified to work in this realm if you are licensed, they will work to make sure people know that and, for people who cross the line, they will "vigorously" go after them. We've seen this before.
I'm okay with this -- NSPE is a trade organization in a free country, after all -- but I stopped being a member of NSPE a long time ago because this isn't my set of principles.
Like I said earlier, unlike the ASCE, NSPE is not holding themselves up as some type of vanguard for the public good while distributing propaganda for the financial gain of their own members. So, to me, this statement of so-called principles is pretty harmless. Why I wanted to share this today is because I got a good laugh at the first question of the survey. I didn't even bother to go on to the second. Here it is (click on it for a wider shot):
That's quite a range of options there in reaction to that set of principles. Are they awesome or really awesome! I kept looking for the "disagree" or "disappointing" box but, alas.... Given these options, I would have to pick "helpful" because at least it explains what NSPE is about (their members above all else). Anyone who picks "unique" or "innovative" is a special level of socially inept.
Sorry, NSPE. #fail