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Presidential Address

GENTLEMEN,-I have first to thank you for doing me the honour of electing me as your President. I should like to add that I am conscious of taking office at a time when the work of societies like ours is of national and imperial importance. The European War, horrible and devastating as its effects have been, has produced in this and other countries a wave of energy and enthusiasm for the better study of science and the arts and their application to industry. And this is not to be wondered at. There may be some who say: "Let us concentrate all our thoughts and energies on winning the war, and on nothing else. Science and art are of little importance at the present time." But this is far from being the case. It is true that our first object must be to win the war, and that nothing must stand in the way of achieving it. But we now realize that this is, to a large extent, an engineer’s war, and that science and the arts, industry and invention, play a most conspicuous part in it. In every branch of our Army scientific men have been pressed into the service to help with their knowledge and experience. The same remark applies to the new Government Department which provides the munitions of war, and to the many factories and organizations which are helping it. The chapter of history describing what the engineer, the man of science, and the captain of industry have done during the past two years will, I hope, some day be written. It will certainly be of extraordinary interest. And may I add that the special branch of work fostered by our own Institute will show some very bright achievements. F. E. Wentworth-Sheilds