When 1789 thousands of poor and angry Parisians stormed abhorrent prison of Bastille, symbol of totalitarian regime of King Louis XVI, they were not only demanding liberty, fraternity or death but also slew of reforms which would bring up-to-date archaic legal system into contemporary political and economic reality. One of those demands was to abolish trade, legal, medical and artisan guilds. But why French revolutionaries, would have supported such a move. Surprisingly, their argumentation and motivation seems to bear eerie similarity to today’s harsh critics of guilds and their role in modern society. So let’s examine what guilds are guilty of?
Throughout centuries engineers had to face reality of balancing their professional, technical and scientific judgments with governmental laws/regulations and policies, business/corporate profits and investment interests, technological capabilities and local environmental and economical community needs. In order to keep this balance most of engineers were trained within widest possible engineering breath encompassing all aspects of engineering issues and projects including construction and exploitation phases as well as long-term impact on ecosystem, from point of view of ethics and methodology of natural sciences. Especially emphasizing ethical interpretation of engineering assessment uncertainties.