I failed to understand what point beyond the blindingly obvious was being made by Stuart Parkinson in his call to engineers to consider the ethical dimension to their work.

I failed to understand what point beyond the blindingly obvious was being made by Stuart Parkinson (


, 10 April) in his call to engineers to consider the ethical dimension to their work.

It seems to me to go without saying that anyone involved in something that they know for a fact is unethical has to ask themselves some hard questions.

But that goes for anyone in any walk of life. If an accountant is doing the books for a company that he knows is involved in criminal activities then he obviously has to decide whether to alert the authorities or become part of a criminal conspiracy himself. If on the other hand he thinks the company is behaving legally but unethically, perhaps by exploiting its workforce, then it is a matter for his own conscience.

ple in areas of the world suffer no cancer, heart or respiratory disease and live active lives to well beyond our life expectancy. But when they come to the West and adopt our diet and lifestyle they suffer all our maladies.

The animal world provides further evidence. Eminent field zoologists like Engels observe that wild animals instinctively practise prevention and self-medication. They usually live healthy and active lives until whatever end they meet. Endemic illness is rare. They (and many household pets) often live to seven times the age of maturity whereas we humans barely manage four or five times.

The current healthcare regime is becoming unaffordable and one day, someone has to bite the bullet and revise its philosophy from curing to preventing illness. Prevention is not about taking some magic new pharmaceutical pill or vaccination. It's about preventive education, with cooperation from the food, agricultural and retail industries.

When that day comes, we shall all live longer and more active, productive lives.

Colin Mynott

Make your point to The Engineer and take off with bmi

How to enter
Write a letter to The Engineer magazine and you could win a pair of tickets to one of bmi’s European destinations, courtesy of our friends at the airline.

Flexible and competitive
bmi asked 10,000 customers ‘what would make a great airline?’

The answer was clear: competitive fares, more choice and less time wasted at airports. So bmi acted, introducing a unique fare structure on domestic and European short-haul flights to and from London Heathrow. Thanks to three fare options — including premium economy, with benefits including lounge access and flexibility — you choose the services you want, depending on your business trip.

What’s more, bmi has streamlined the passenger process from the moment of buying the ticket, to your passage through the airport, to boarding the aircraft. You can book e-tickets online and then check in online at home, in your office, or even on the move.

Alternatively, there are self-check-in machines and priority check-in desks at the airport. You can even use bmi ‘web points’ to check in online at the airport, if that’s more convenient. All this means you can save valuable time from booking, right until your plane takes off.

The prize
Try the smart approach for yourself, courtesy of bmi. The winner of The Engineer’s Letter of the Month prize for April, as selected by the editor, will win a pair of tickets from London Heathrow to any destination on bmi’s European mainline network.

Click here for terms and conditions.

The Engineer
50 Poland Street