Engineers and Empire Development


    ENGINEERING, or turning to practical account the discoveries of science, Sir Alexander said, is the foundation of civilization. In his opinion, the opportunities of the future are vastly greater than any that the past offered, but he regards with some anxiety the years-to come. The machine sometimes seems to be taking control; inventions and developments succeed one another with bewildering speed, and there seems to be no limit to the possible results of uncontrolled and misapplied ingenuity. Engineering provides directly or indirectly the livelihood of about a seventh of the working population of Great Britain. To-day is an age of ever-increasing specialization, and it has inevitably resulted in engineering being split up into many different categories and groups. If the great problems of the future are to be adequately dealt with, an attempt should be made to co ordinate and unite engineering activities in the broadest senses The Institution of Civil Engineers is taking steps in this matter, and useful work has already been done in the wider question of co-operation with engineering institutions. Sir Alexander thinks that one broad policy should inspire and guide all classes of engineers; there might then arise a body of engineering opinion so weighty, so sane, that it would prevent waste of energy and misplaced enterprise, and would inevitably command attention in the politics, administration and life of Great Britain and the Empire.

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    Engineers and Empire Development. Nature 138, 794 (1936).

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