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News worthy


Your Comment (NCE 16 November) appealed to the profession to make sure the public and politicians know whether civil engineers are the heroes or villains when future complex issues - such as global warming and flooding - hit the headlines.

Our profession is well recognised by the public and politicians for our technical skills and capability. And it is getting better recognised as contributing to the quality of the environment.

But if we are to be proactive in the future and avoid being typecast, we must become more involved in the social dimension of sustainable development.

In practice, this needs to be tackled at all levels - including our own lives and jobs. It means better education and training in societal issues, a better focus on society and not on the client in our professional lives, better regard for future generations in our decisionmaking, and a shift in how our profession portrays and perceives itself.

Let us be and be recognised to be, public heroes.

Dr Mervyn Bramley (F), Flood defence development manager, Environment Agency, Bristol, BS32 4UD

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