The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 7 (1929) > Issues > Issue 11 > Three Problems for Consideration
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Three Problems for Consideration

With the advent of the autumn-winter sessions the various societies and institutions which exist for the purpose of furthering the interests of the sciences, pure or applied, or the arts or crafts to which they are devoted, resume the activities which the holiday season had interrupted; the schools and colleges commence their terms, and there is a general quickening of men's thoughts and intellectual preoccupations, which is in marked contrast to the "hibernation" to which some other orders of animals are addicted when winter approaches. The opening session in the case of many societies which do not, by tradition, employ the annual spring meeting as the occasion of the function, is marked by the delivery of a presidential address. This, also in virtue of tradition, is in most instances not subject to discussion; very often a topic is selected that does not lend itself to that purpose, or a review of progress is the theme, as to which there is little that, can be said by way of comment, and a vote of thanks is the only mode of expressing recognition. Yet there have been delivered, during the past month, several presidential addresses which have not been confined to the traditional subjects, and could have lent themselves to discussions of the most illuminating and beneficial kinds. They have been delivered before audiences composed of members of our sister institutions and they appear to have been inspired by some degree of doubt as to whether the general body of tradition which attaches to such institutions, and especially the older ones, is quite abreast of the needs of the day. Dr. Daniel Adamson, in the thoughtful address he gave the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, emphasised the need for a broad outlook; for closer co-operation between science and practice- to be brought, about by the action of the Institution itself-and, in particular, invited constructive criticism of the affairs of the Institution, from the individual member's point of view. To the question which he assumed some nmembers might feel disposed to ask: what has the Institution done for the individual member? he quoted the reply, "Qui facit per alium facit per se."