The Maitland Lecture is properly given in honour of a man who, as Secretary, served the Institution of Structural Engineers for over 30 years. The secretaryship of any institution is generally a burdensome and thankless task but, in this case, brings biennially recognition to one who deserves well of those who uphold his memory. I therefore applaud this action on the part of the Institution, but, although conscious of the honour afforded me, take issue on the choice of lecturer in 1990. However, the choice having been made, it is rarely sensible if not actually dangerous for the lecturer to read what his predecessors have said, particularly when the subject of the speaker’s own choice is one in which he has an interest and even knowledge. Unfortunately, I had recourse to the preceding lectures on engineers and engineering and their impact on our society now and as it might be. What I had to say I found had already been more than hinted at, if not said. Those of you in the audience who have read the previous Maitland Lectures on engineers and engineering (or, having been here
before, feel you will be experiencing deja vu), please leave quietly.
Sir Monty Finniston