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Guest lecturer reports - Essay Example

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Guest lecturer reports

By so doing, no one will be to blame upon failure of a particular technology. There are different views on the relationship between technology and society. Technological determinism argues on the basis of engineers devising a technology which is either rejected or adapted by the society. It sees technological development as inevitable and autonomous. Political determinism incorporates commercial imperatives and global capitalism while social constructivism relays the possibilities of innovation when technology is embedded in its social context. Engineers as societies have management thus self-regulated. They operate on the basis of division of labour and it is such management that aided in the launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Being the 2nd innovation in the space exploration, it completed nine successful missions before exploding in the 10th mission. Although it halted the passion for space missions, judgments on the cause of the explosion began. Political explanation linked the explosion to low temperatures while engineers put blames on the management. The judgment was considered from scientific perspective where an analysis on the design of the space shuttle was made. It was finally discerned that Challenger explosion was due to failure of any joints that exist between the two lower sections of the right solid rocket motor [Rumerman, 2000]. Basically, there are technical problems that existed but engineers did not concentrate to it. Perhaps, joint rotation was a minor problem and was fixed by SRB O-rings. However, NASA and Morton Thiokol (MT) engineers do not reach a consensus on the O-ring problems. Tests are done to solve the conflicting ideas of the size of gap that affected the sealing capacity of the rings. NASA uses electrical instrument to measure rotation and concludes that joint rotation is a serious problem because SRB fails test. On the other hand, Morton Thiokol engineers prove that joint rotation is not a serious problem despite failure of SRB in the 8th cycle of the hydro burst test. The challenger launch decision is thus upheld to meet appropriate professional standards. Judgments should be made based on evidence relating to materials, environment and people. Considering this fact, they make sure that before implementing a particular technology, it is safe enough to be handled by people. Scientific ideas and principles may be complex and controversial if it differs from social judgment (National academics, 2013). Engineering judgments should provide pragmatic solutions. For instance, the rocket motor is designed with seals which work under conditions of temperature and pressure that exceed expected launch. This helps to create a scientific experience to bring back the thought that long halted the launch of space program until the facts of the dimensional problems were identified. In order to protect public welfare, engineers must be aware of the test designs to be applied in providing solutions (Lewis, & Richard, 1988). The challenger launch decision therefore was based on a new recommendation which stated that low temperature was not a big problem notwithstanding facts that the prediction of the launch temperatures was outside NASA specifications. This follows acceptance of recommendations made by MT engineers and a decision to launch the space shuttle ...Show more


Engineers and Society Name: Course: Lecturer: University: Date: Synopsis The interaction between technology and society provides a comprehensive analysis on the autonomy of science and technology, and adaptation of society to the technological trends. Schools of thought that help explain this phenomenon are the technological determinism, political determinism and social constructivism…
Author : jacobsisaias
Guest lecturer reports essay example
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