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The Contribution of Science to the Future

Nature volume 130, pages 325327 (03 September 1932) | Download Citation



THE return of the British Association to the scene of its first meeting in 1831 cannot but suggest interesting comparisons between the position of science in 1831 and in 1932, and in this connexion it is not inappropriate that an engineer should occupy the presidential chair. A hundred years ago the nation was still in the throes of the industrial revolution and the economic depression which followed the Napoleonic wars. Discoveries and inventions in mechanical science had already found application in industry and were producing revolutionary changes in society. The whole structure of industry was being changed; old industries hitherto carried on in the homes were being swept into the mills and factories and new industries had been created. The railway and steamship age was just opening, and was indeed fostered by some of the researches promoted by the Association. Faraday had already made the fundamental discovery which later bore fruit in the dynamo and all the myriad ramifications of the electrical industries.

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