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Mechanics at the British Association

Nature volume 54, pages 607609 | Download Citation



THE meetings in Section G—that devoted to mechanical science—at the recent Liverpool meeting of the British Association were generally well attended, and, on the whole, the proceedings compared not unfavourably with those of recent years. But only qualified praise can be given, as for long “ G ” has fallen short of its vocation. We look back to past times, to the days of Rankine and Froude, when the Section was more constant to its true mission, and sigh over later records. Mechanical science, though only applied science, is science; and though the Section must be utilitarian, it need not be a penny-readings or a means of trade advertisement. We think that any one acquainted with the proceedings of later years will agree that both the latter elements have been too much in evidence. With regard to the penny-readings or popular-lecture side of the question, we had more than one example during the recent meeting. There were some most interesting lectures and discourses, illustrated by equally interesting lantern slides, but they could hardly be classed as scientific They were just admirable penny-readings—nothing more.

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