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Science and Engineering

Nature volume 85, page 122 (24 November 1910) | Download Citation



AT a meeting of the Junior Institution of Engineers on November 15, Sir J. J. Thomson, F.R.S., president of the association, delivered an address on the relations between pure science and engineering. The distinction between them, he said, is one of aim, not of method. The methods employed by the physicist and the qualities of mind called into play in his investigations are to a large extent the same as those used by the engineer in the higher branches of engineering. It is not the business of the physicist in his researches to concern himself at all with utility. Almost every advance in pure physics has been turned to account by the engineer, the manufacturer, or the doctor But nothing would be more disastrous to the progress of engineering than that the workers in pure science should hamper themselves by considerations as to the utility of their work, or confine their attention to points which have an obvious practical application.

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