The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 59 (1981) > Issues > Issue 1 > Maitland Lecture 1980 Technological Education for the Next Century
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Maitland Lecture 1980 Technological Education for the Next Century

The time lens Any historical account of a subject is almost certain to put a ‘time lens’ on the immediate past so that it appears to the reader that very little occurred before the start of the present century. So it is with the history of science. And yet at the same time there are sufficient eminent men of earlier years (Newton, Galileo, Archimedes, Euclid, etc.) to give the impression to school children that science has been progressing for at least 1OOO years. One should never forget to add the words, ‘but slowly!’ in reference to anything that occurred before the beginning of the 19th century. Where the time lens really works is when we look at the history of technology, for by inference, in what might be called a traditional sense, technologists pick up the brilliant discoveries of scientists and exploit them for hard cash. E.R. Laithwaite