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Trades Union Congress and Science

Nature volume 140, pages 457458 (11 September 1937) | Download Citation



THE announcement made by Mr. Ernest Bevin in his presidential address to the Trades Union Congress meeting at Norwich of the formation of a scientific advisory council will be widely welcomed. Mr. Bevin paid tribute to the progress that science has made, but pointed out that society has not kept pace with it in making the fundamental readjustments and assimilating the results of research, discovery and invention. The General Council of the Congress believes that men of science can make a further contribution to progress by assisting such a movement as the Trades Union Congress with counsel and knowledge. It has accordingly decided to establish a Scientific Advisory Council, the purpose of which will be to enable the Congress and its constituent unions to secure the help and advice of leading scientific workers in some systematic and regular way. "The General Council are convinced that their prevision and foreknowledge of the significance of scientific discovery in all fields of research would be of incalculable value not only to the trade union movement, but to the community.“Mr. Bevin gave a warning that this does not mean that scientific workers are to be invited to frame the policy of the Congress ; the General Council wishes to be in touch with representative men of science by means of such an advisory council and panels of scientific workers, from which it will be able to obtain information and advice in dealing with its own problems. It would clearly be to the advantage of both science and labour if the Congress were represented upon research boards and research associations concerned with industrial developments. The human factor in industrial progress has often been neglected in the past, and by bringing representatives of labour into close association with scientific and inventive work, the degrading results of some of their past applications to industry may be avoided.

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