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Ancien événement - Manifestation IMdR

Professional values and codes of practice for disaster prevention

18/06/2019 au 19/06/2019Professional values and codes of practice for disaster prevention  


The primary purpose of the workshop is sharing ideas linked to this topic. Contributions in the form of presentations and papers are invited on the topic. We welcome contributions from various sectors such as for example– chemical, oil and gas, nuclear, aviation, medicine, law and finance, defense ….


In recent decades, efforts to understand the causes of major failures of corporations have shifted from blaming front line workers to a focus on systems and organizations. In this way of thinking about disaster causation, workers are seen as ‘passive actors’ and attention shifts to senior management who are seen as ultimately responsible for corporate values and culture, and so the actions of everyone throughout their organization. Blame has shifted from the bottom of the organization to the top.


The time is right to move beyond these simplifications and consider also the role of professional responsibility in disaster prevention. Research has shown that individual decision making is driven by a professional identity as well as an identity as an employee. Recent disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire (2017), the Genoa bridge collapse (2018), the L’Aquila earthquake (2009) and the current Boeing 737 Max problems have raised questions regarding the professional ethics of those involved and why courses of action that are so clearly problematic in hindsight were allowed to continue. Why was there no whistle blower?


Despite the long tradition of situating engineering in society in public engineering corps, in practice, engineers seldom consider the social meaning and effects of their professional practice. Instead, engineering discourse is largely captured by discourses of commerce and science. Perhaps the profession itself can do more to ensure that engineers see the potential consequences of their activities and take action when necessary, before disaster strikes.

We propose to share ideas and experiences regarding professional values and codes of practice including:

  • How do specific professions reflect on their professional practice and what impact does that have on the profession overall?
  • Are codes of ethics/practice/deontology an effective way of building and maintaining a sense of professional values?
  • What is the role of professional bodies in ensuring ethical behavior of members?
  • Is licensing an effective way to ensure professional standards?
  • Concepts and methods​


We expect to draft a collective book on the topic to be complete in August 2020 and we would welcome your contributions, ideas and inputs at that stage. To that end we propose a workshop with participants invited to address the question:


“Professional values and codes of practice for disaster prevention”

It is framed as an open question so that participants are free to disagree with or set a step aside and reformulate the framing in a more operationally and theoretically sound way.


Workshop Program

The workshop is free but places are limited, so registration is required.

To register, please email Myriam Merad​ (myriam.merad@lamsade.dauphine.fr)



Dernière modification : 13/06/2019
Lieu : Université Paris Dauphine