Nina Lovelace's report on the ICE Commission's report on flooding highlights three bold points about the relationship between engineers and the rest of the world.
First, the report recommends we avoid approaching all challenges like King Canute, believing that we can always control the forces of nature for the better. Working hand-in-hand is sometimes more appropriate.
Secondly, we should take the initiative and educate our clients when it is wrong for them to demand inappropriate solutions. We must be prepared to say what our skills or convictions tell us is right.
Thirdly, engineers must speak with emotion and in a language the world understands when communicating these ideas. This demands a different approach from the necessary measured jargon we use to pass ideas between ourselves, or when it is a legal necessity.
Jon Balley (M), Littlecote, Two Dells Lane, Chesham, Bucks HP5 3QZ