In Party Spirit (Letters, NCE 21 April), Rodney Bridle argued that should engineers become politicians, they will in some way give up the scientific way of thinking and become wedded to an ideology. I do not see why they should.
Although all political parties have an ideological basis, this does not mean that many policy decisions cannot be made without recourse to science and logic.
He adds: 'All civil engineers. . . need to develop their analytical skills to distinguish between ideology and science, and we will then make real strides in overcoming the shortfalls in infrastructure.' Most civil engineers are already committed to developing these skills, while many politicians, I would guess, are not.
Such skills, which many engineers possess, are much needed in politics. The ability of engineers to assess the reliability of various sources of information, to balance conflicting demands from myriad stakeholders and to solve problems creatively, would be a breath of fresh air in a political climate where soundbites and spin rule supreme but logical argument and creative problem solving appear thin on the ground.
Perhaps the preponderance of lawyers and journalists in parliament explains this imbalance.
Benoit Jones (G), benoitjones@yahoo. co. uk