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Wiring inspections investigation and more in our August issue

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Don’t miss our exclusive investigation into the prevalence of potentially lethal substandard wiring inspections

In today's world that seems to be full of them, it’s not often an issue of E&T leads on a national scandal but that’s what this month’s cover story points to. The IET puts a lot of time and effort into the Wiring Regulations, which should be properly followed. Sadly, our investigation into scant wiring inspections found that the inspection regime is not being properly enforced. We will be following up our exclusive investigation with more coverage online so read our cover story and be sure to sign up for our daily newsletter alerts.

Meanwhile, our readers’ debate about the status of engineering and of engineers rumbles on in this month’s letters pages as it has, according to one contributor, for the last half a century. Tim Donaldson writes about ‘moangineers’ who he says need to earn their status rather than just expect it. I think that companies misnaming their technicians as engineers continues to be a problem for the image of the profession, but it’s not going to change because the profession just wishes it. Neither will writing to newspapers to ‘correct’ their usage or, as one reader once suggested, asking the Oxford English Dictionary to change the definition. What language journalists use and how dictionaries define meanings reflects real-world usage – not the other way around. But we also have suggestions this month to use ‘technology’ or ‘Euring’ more; perhaps you have some other ideas? Catch up with the debate in Letters.

How many vegans do you know? Are they fitter than you? Vegan diets are on the rise and becoming more popular in sport. As the Commonwealth Games is about to start in Birmingham, Sarah Griffiths asks if veganism is a recipe for sporting success. The Games’ environmental aspirations also come under scrutiny from Lindsay James, who last year assessed the Olympic Games’ green credentials and found them somewhat wanting. Are the Commonwealth Games any greener? Or is carbon neutral too much to expect from any global sporting event?

The long school holidays are about to start, in the UK at least, and so too does the parental challenge of keeping the children entertained. We’re here to help with some fun science and engineering activities. Neil Downie started his projects as a Covid lockdown response in 2020, when the schools were closed, but on page 46 we’re reviving them for the holidays, and there are plenty more of his bright ideas online.   

As the tragic war rumbles on in Ukraine, E&T has an interview with former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. What can we learn from the wars of the past? Also in this issue: mining metals from the deep sea bed, generating clean energy for island communities, and Helsinki’s digital twin city for geothermal energy.

Graphic on fire causes

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