PRESENTATION NOW AVAILABLE
ACCEPTED ENGINEERING ETHICS PAPER CENSORED BY CONFERENCE:
CASE STUDY OF FLAWED PEER REVIEW IN ENGINEERING JOURNALS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2015
Contact: Wayne H. Coste, PE
Email: wcoste@CensoredBySEFI.org | MSmith@AE911Truth.org
(Orleans, FRANCE) A presentation that was scheduled for the 43rd SEFI conference on July 1 has now been made available at censoredbySEFI.org. The SEFI conference opened on 29 June with a controversy centered on the issue of censorship. A paper that two authors traveled to present was withdrawn in the days before the conference began and the authors were refused entry to the conference. Their paper was to discuss, as a case study, an instance where the peer review process failed for an important engineering topic. The paper then discussed the risks to the credibility of the engineering profession as a result this flawed peer review process.
Finding no technical faults or errors, the paper passed SEFI 2015’s peer review steps and was accepted for presentation (see correspondence, see schedule). The SEFI Scientific Committee censored the paper for vague reasons that they refused to elaborate upon. Its last-minute removal as the authors were arriving at the conference suggests that non-technical issues played a key role in its removal. Furthermore, this suggests that discussion of ethics may not have a place in the engineering curriculum in Europe. (English version or French translation; initial abstract).
The removed paper highlights the risk to the engineering profession as a result of ethical lapses that are causing members of the public across the world to question whether organizations that represent engineers can be trusted. The paper examines a case study where the peer-review of a technical paper in a prestigious engineering journal failed to ensure sound engineering analysis. This resulted in unsupportable conclusions being published and counter-explanations not being allowed.
The eight-page paper entitled “The World Trade Center Analyses: Case Study of Ethics, Public Policy and the Engineering Profession,” provides background and discussion leading to the critique of the sole published explanation for the mechanism of destruction of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. The paper used in this case study shows that the explanation presented in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, “What Did and Did Not Cause the Collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York” (by Z. P. Bažant 2008) is not supported by cursory observations.
Key to the critique of Bažant’s hypothesis is the observation that within the footprint of the towers, a negligible amount of the structural material is located in the lobby area of the North Tower. This would not have been possible under Bažant’s gravity-only collapse hypothesis, so one must ask, “Where is all the mass of upper 106-story floor debris that would necessarily be available to do the “Crush-Down/Crush-Up” process, all the way down into the Lobby Floor ?”
If a conference such as SEFI 2015 cannot address the ethical lapses of the engineering profession, what venues are available to demand engineers, in the words of the (US) National Society of Professional Engineers, adhere to the codes of ethics, “… that must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare.” The engineering profession may one day wake up to find that their credibility to contribute to issues such as climate change and sustainability has vanished.
The “About SEFI” section of their website states that “SEFI’s aims and objectives are … to reinforce the position of the engineering professionals in society.“ These ethical aspirations parallel that of the U.S. National Society of Professional Engineers which states, “Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.” Ethical violations such as censoring critical discussions of important topics makes a mockery of SEFI’s aims.
The authors are requesting that in response to this censorship, which is a violation of both academic freedom and ethics that both chairs of the SEFI Scientific Committee be removed and that one of the SEFI member institutions sponsors a return trip by Mr. Coste to present this paper as part of a visiting lecture series.
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SEFI is the largest network of institutions of higher engineering education, individuals, associations and companies in Europe.
Lead author Wayne H. Coste is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan (USA) and Director of Truth Outreach, Inc.
Architects &Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a non – partisan association of architects, engineers, and affiliates whose mission is to research, compile, and disseminate scientific evidence relative to the destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers, calling for a truly open and independent investigation and supporting others in the pursuit of justice.
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