MESSAGING FOR
ENGINEERING

FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION

Committee on Implementing Engineering Messages

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

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MESSAGING FOR ENGINEERING FROM RESEARCH TO ACTION Committee on Implementing Engineering Messages

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NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS  500 Fifth Street, NW   Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: This publication has been reviewed according to procedures approved by the National Academy of Engineering report review process. Publication of signed work signifies that it is judged a competent and useful contribution worthy of public consideration, but it does not imply endorsement of conclusions or recommenda- tions by the National Academy of Engineering. The interpretations and conclusions in such publications are those of the authors and do not purport to present the views of the council, officers, or staff of the National Academy of Engineering. This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC-0957578. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommenda- tions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Messaging for engineering : from research to action / Committee on Implementing Engineering Messages. pages cm “This publication builds on the 2008 NAE publication, Changing the conversation : messages for improving public understanding of engineering”—Preface. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-309-26180-7 (paperback) — ISBN 978-0-309-26181-4 (pdf) 1. Communication in engineering. 2. Engineering—Social aspects—United States. 3. Engineers—Public relations—United States. I. National Academy of Engineering. Committee on Implementing Engineering Messages. II. National Academy of Engineering. Committee on Public Understanding of Engineering Messages. Changing the conversation. TA158.5.M47 2013 620.001’4—dc23 2013018880 Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (888) 624-8373 or (202) 334-3313; www.nap.edu. For more information about the National Academy of Engineering, visit the NAE home page at www.nae.edu. Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engi- neers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of ­Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congres- sional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences ­ in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON IMPLEMENTING ENGINEERING MESSAGES ELLEN KULLMAN (Cochair), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE CHARLES M. VEST (Cochair), National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC G. WAYNE CLOUGH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC LESLIE COLLINS, National Engineers Week Foundation, Alexandria, VA DON P. GIDDENS, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta ROBERT HOFFMAN, Hoffman and Partners LLC, Boston, MA RAY O. JOHNSON, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, MD VIRGINIA KRAMER, Keiler & Company, Farmington, CT IRVING PRESSLEY MCPHAIL, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, White Plains, NY E. JAMES PRENDERGAST, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, NJ BETTY SHANAHAN, Society of Women Engineers, Chicago, IL Staff GREG PEARSON, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering MARIBETH KEITZ, Senior Program Associate, National Academy of Engineering v

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PREFACE This report is the final product of the Committee on Implement- ing Engineering Messages of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The project overseen by the committee had three objectives: (1) develop an online “toolkit” containing messaging-related resources, community-building applications, and other resources to support the goal of promoting broader use of new messages for improving the public understanding of engineering; (2) facilitate dialogue between organizations that have developed implementation strategies for the new engineering messages and influential stakeholders in the engi- neering community that have not yet implemented the messages; and (3) create an “action plan” to guide adoption and use of the online tool- kit and encourage coordinated outreach to the public by the broader engineering community. The committee’s report fulfills the project’s third objective. This publication builds on the 2008 NAE publication Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engi- neering. Changing the Conversation (CTC) presented the results of a research-based effort to develop and test new, more effective ways of communicating to the public about engineering. The new messages vii

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viii Preface recast engineering as inherently creative and concerned with human welfare, as well as an emotionally satisfying calling. The CTC report stimulated considerable interest among segments of the engineering community, and some organizations adopted the project’s messages in their outreach. Overall, however, the report’s impact has fallen short of its potential to galvanize action by the broader engineering community. Our committee’s effort is intended to help remedy that situation. This report provides background related to engineering messag- ing, reports on progress made in implementing the CTC messages, and suggests specific steps that can be taken by each of the major players in the engineering community to continue and build on the implementa- tion that has taken place. As we note in the report, like any rebranding effort, creating more accurate and positive perceptions of engineering is a long-term proposition. Through the work of the NAE and other organizations, the engineering community has the tools in hand to make considerable progress. The information in this document, we hope, will provide incentive for meaningful action. Ellen Kullman, Cochair Charles M. Vest, Cochair Chair of the Board and CEO President E. I. du Pont de Nemours National Academy of   and Company   Engineering

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments to assist the NAE in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review com- ments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: James Buczkowski, Ford Motor Company Norman L. Fortenberry, American Society for Engineering Education Lisa Guerra, NASA Headquarters William S. Hammack, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Thomas G. Loughlin, ASME Patrick J. Natale, American Society of Civil Engineers Mary Petryszyn, Raytheon Company ix

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x Acknowledgments Darryll J. Pines, University of Maryland Anthony (Bud) Rock, Association of Science-Technology Centers Jacquelyn F. Sullivan, University of Colorado–Boulder Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views expressed in the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Julia M. Phillips, Sandia National Laboratories. Appointed by the NAE, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the NAE.

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CONTENTS SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 11 The Value of Public Understanding of Engineering, 12 Changing the Conversation, 13 Challenges of Rebranding, 18 Changing the Conversation: From Research to Action, 19 Outline of this Report, 20 Audiences for this Report, 21 References, 23 2 WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED? 25 Messaging Based on Changing the Conversation, 25 Messaging in the Spirit of Changing the Conversation, 37 Creation of New Tools and Resources, 42 References, 47 3 CALL TO ACTION 49 The Basics, 51 Sector-Specific Actions, 52 xi

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xii Contents Other Opportunities, 60 Conclusion, 62 References, 63 Appendixes A Biographies of Committee Members 65 B Workshop Agenda 73 C Participants List 77

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MESSAGING FOR ENGINEERING

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