Ethical Dilemmas in Earthquake Risk Reduction

Introduction to Ethical Dilemmas in Earthquake Risk Reduction

Between 1996 and 2001, EERI engaged in a project to formally address many of the ethical issues which occur in the field of earthquake risk reduction. The project was founded on belief that ethics are important but often unacknowledged in this field. The first major product of this endeavor was an Endowment Fund White Paper entitled Ethical Issues and Earthquake Risk Reduction. As a follow-up to the white paper, we at EERI have added this Ethics section to our website.

This program presents case studies that involve some ethical issue or issues related to the practice of earthquake engineering or earthquake risk reduction. The objective is to raise awareness of such issues, foster discussion, and to assist members of EERI and others to better recognize, understand, and apply ethical principles in our work.

The cases presented are based on situations that could occur during the course of common practice, but the names of participants and specifics of the case have been changed or removed to maintain anonymity. Following the description of the situation, site visitors are encouraged to evaluate several possible actions and may add additional comments. The results of these responses are presented on the site.

Getting started

For help with thinking about the core ethical issues associated with a particular case, please visit our Approaching Ethical Dilemmas page.