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Scientific Research in Relation to Industries 1

    Naturevolume 98pages420421 (1917) | Download Citation

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    Abstract

    INDUSTRY, and with it all our modern civilisation, depend on engineering. Engineering, however, is nothing but applied science, and science thus is the foundation, and scientific research the ultimate means, which have created our civilisation. Through ages the chief homes of scientific research have been the universities and other educational institutions. During the last generation, however, the industrial development has been so rapid, and the demand for the results of scientific research so great and urgent, that the universities have not been able to supply it, and the industries, especially the more powerfully organised modern industries, as electrical engineering, chemistry, etc., had to enter the field of scientific research. The country's educational institutions did not advance in fostering scientific research to the same degree as the industries advanced, and many universities and educational institutions rather retrograded in scientific research, became submerged in a false commercialism which figured the output of the college in student hours per professor, judged efficiency by the percentage of students graduated, and altogether too often wasted the university best assets—its professors. Thus we find in our colleges men who had shown themselves capable as investigators to do scientific research work of the “highest order overloaded with educational or administrative routine, and deprived of the time for research work. Private industries rarely commit such crimes of wasting men on work inferior to that which they can do; industrial efficiency forbids it.

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    https://doi.org/10.1038/098420a0

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