100411SciEngrDebate

100411SciEngrDebate - Link recvd via E-newsletter October...

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Link rec’v’d via E-newsletter October 4, 2011 from desn@designnews-mail.com Henry Petroski, Professor of Civil Engineering, Duke University 10/3/2011 One of my pet peeves is to see an engineer identified as a scientist, or an engineering achievement described as a scientific one. It happens all the time in the news media. In October 2010, when 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped a half-mile underground for two months were brought safely to the surface, a headline in the Wall Street Journal described the "rescue formula" as "75 percent science, 25 percent miracle." In fact, as a participant in the feat was quoted in the story itself, the rescue was "75 percent engineering and 25 percent a miracle." It was engineers who had designed the advanced drill bit that enabled an access shaft to be driven in record time; it was engineers who designed the rescue capsule that was used to haul the miners out one-by-one; and it was engineers who had designed the ancillary equipment that was necessary to carry out the rescue. The most generous way to excuse the headline writer for substituting "science" for "engineering" is to assume that he thought that the terms were synonymous. Headlines obviously have to fit a limited space and so shorter words are often favored over longer ones. But there is also another,
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course IE 334 taught by Professor Gard during the Spring '11 term at Lehigh University .

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100411SciEngrDebate - Link recvd via E-newsletter October...

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