Pledge of Ethical Conduct

A Pledge of Ethical Conduct was printed in Commencement program for College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, in both May 1997 and May 1998. We have some hopes of making it a tradition. "Chapter" refers to the Student Pugwash Chapter at UC Berkeley. We have since revived it and expect an active year.

The language of the pledge is a compromise. Originally, the chapter proposed using the SPUSA pledge given on cards which were carried to Oslo for the autumn 1995 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies. It reads:

"I promise to work for a BETTER WORLD where science and technology are used in socially responsible ways. I will not use by EDUCATION for any purpose intended to harm human beings or the environment. Throughout my career, I will consider the ETHICAL implications of my work before I take ACTION. While the demands placed upon me may be great, I sign this delcaration because I recognize that INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY is the first step on the path to PEACE.
-Pledge of Student Pugwash USA, Fall 1995 (emphasis in original)

After several rounds of negotiation with the Senior Committee, the Engineers Joint Council, and others, it emerged as you see it. It borrows heavily from the IEEE Code of Ethics.

Whether this, or another pledge, becomes an "institution" depends upon whether there are students to continue the necessary lobbying. As a non-student I can only encourage and try to organize and inspire students to so do. As Counselor to our IEEE Student Branch I hope to interest the officers in sponsoring the effort. (Our SPUSA Chapter is somewhat inactive currently.) I will also work through the SAC and the SPAC to promote the idea among engineering schools internationally.


We, the graduating engineering class of 1997 (1998), in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members, and the communities we serve, pledge to commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct. Throughout our careers, we will consider the ethical implications and the impact on safety, health, and welfare of the public and the environment of the work we do before we take action. While the demands placed upon us may be great, we make this declaration because we recognize that individual responsibility is the first step on the path to a better world for all.

Adopted by the Student Relations Committee, the Engineers Joint Council, and several student societies of the College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1997 (1998).


Joseph H. Wujek was a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in the University of California at Berkeley. He had taught courses in circuit analysis, design, and instrumentation and was a consultant in reliability/maintainability and systems engineering. Joe and his wife Lee were killed in an automobile accident on July 12, 1999. He was the sponsor of the student group that developed the above pledge. Joe was a great proponent of alternative strategies for teaching and learning, and especially for active learning and role playing. It was a treat to be present when he took on various roles in the classroom and brought out reactions and responses from students that simply would not have been possible in a more traditional setting. This web page is dedicated to his memory, and to the memories that he left behind that we hope will continue to improve our teaching and learning capabilities.
Please visit the Joe and Lee Wujek Memorial and Testimonial WEB Page.

The Pugwash Organization

Last updated 99/08/24