[News and Views]

    Abstract

    THE National Institute of Industrial Psychology announced last week that in response to its appeal for funds, issued by Earl Balfour, an anonymous gift of 10,000l. had been received. Although the first list of donations has not yet been published, it is known that a thousand guineas have been contributed by Messrs. Debenham's and a hundred guineas by the National Union of Railwaymen. The Institute was established for promoting the study of the human factor in industry and commerce, and applying the results of such study in practice. Its investigations include the study of the best methods of work, especially the elimination of unnecessary movement, the most advantageous distribution of periods of rest and work, and the reduction of monotony. Suitable methods are devised for securing more efficient and scientific selection of workers, and better guidance of adolescents when choosing their life's work. Five years have now passed since the Institute was founded, and investigations have been carried out in twenty-six different industries. Almost invariably the resulting improvements in working conditions and methods have led to increased output accompanied by reduced fatigue, and some indication of the encouraging support and assistance, given by both labour and employers is shown by the donors mentioned above. When work for private firms is undertaken, they are required to pay to the Institute a sum covering the expenses of the work, but, as with every other application of science, an enormous amount of preliminary research is essential before the results can be put into practice. The appeal for 40,000l. has been issued to form an endowment fund to allow of such research, and to equip a satisfactory laboratory and technical library.

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    [News and Views]. Nature 117, 131–134 (1926). https://doi.org/10.1038/117131a0

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