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New Book Defines Era of Socially Responsible Engineering

Prentice Hall Professional today announced the release of Citizen Engineer: A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering, which focuses on the new era of engineering and its implications for practitioners, businesses and society overall.

Authors Greg Papadopoulos, Sun Microsystems CTO; and Chief Sustainability Officer David Douglas, with writer John Boutelle, draw on their own experiences — and interviews with dozens of engineers, researchers, and students — to help educate readers on two subjects of urgency: environmental responsibility and intellectual property. Both are redefining the way engineers do their jobs.

The authors have set out to help engineers — both students and those already in the profession — to learn the relationships between what they do, and the broader social interests of the environment, safety, security, privacy, choice and competition.

The book is organized into four parts:
Part I: “Advent of the Citizen Engineer”: Describes the trends that have led to this era of socially responsible engineering, and defines the Citizen Engineer as: techno-responsible, environmentally responsible, economically responsible, and socially responsible participants in the engineering community.

Part II: “Environmental Responsibility”: Here the authors use a two-part approach to tackle the large and complex challenge of designing for eco-efficiency, while acknowledging there are no perfect solutions. They encourage engineers to start with an awareness of the impact of their product, by using a basic lifecycle model (i.e. focusing on how a product or service is made, used, and renewed.) Then they present a framework that helps to prioritize actions, starting with the areas of greatest potential impact.

Part III: “Intellectual Responsibility”: This part of the book addresses the world of intellectual property law and protection mechanisms (patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, nondisclosure agreements, and employee contracts), all of which are critical for engineers who hope to promote their ideas while having control over their destiny. There is discussion of inbound IP, or how one person uses the ideas of others, and outbound IP, or how others are permitted to use one’s ideas, as well as the growing momentum behind open source software licenses. There is a chapter focused on protecting digital rights through digital rights management.

Part IV: “Bringing it to Life”: The book wraps up with thought-provoking questions about how engineering schools, organizations which employ engineers, and engineers themselves, can plan for and respond to the new realities and requirements.

Useable Quotes:

“It’s terrific. This new book does an outstanding job of filling in the knowledge of topics that simply aren’t touched upon…. This is exactly the sort of book that engineers should read and discuss.” — John L. Hennessy, president, Stanford University

“Citizen Engineer is the bible for the new era of socially responsible engineering. All engineers concerned with the impact of their work must read this book.” — Hal Abelson, professor of computer science and engineering, MIT

“This accessible and brilliant book should be required of every citizen, and especially, the new citizen lawmakers we call engineers.” — Lawrence Lessig, director, Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, and cofounder, Creative Commons

Media Clips
Forbes.com: http://video.forbes.com/fvn/cio/tb_suncto030209
KQED Perspectives: www.kqed.org/epArchive/R904130737
Financial Times.com: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/14ab8a4c-0980-11de-add8-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

About Pearson
The global leader in educational and professional publishing, Pearson is home to such respected brands as Addison-Wesley Professional, Cisco Press, Exam Cram, IBM Press, Prentice Hall Professional, Que, and Sams Publishing, which have as their online publishing arm InformIT (www.informit.com) — The Trusted Technology Learning Source. In addition, Berkeley-based Peachpit (www.peachpit.com), the publishing partner for Adobe Press, Apple Certified, and others, publishes best-selling books for creative design professionals. Pearson is also co-founder, with O’Reilly Media Inc., of Safari Books Online (http://safari.informit.com), the premier on-demand technology content library providing thousands of expert reference materials through a single point of contact, including expert technology, creative and design, industry and management resources in video, audio and written formats. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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