The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 86 (2008) > Issues > Issue 14 > The Institution and the Journal - Dr Allan P. Mann
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The Institution and the Journal - Dr Allan P. Mann

The craft of building is of course ancient, but was originally just a skill lacking scientific backing. The development of engineering as applied science came much later and sprang from more general discoveries, from curiosity and from the practical needs of society. The desire to understand how our world works has motivated many, and polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci, were at least part engineers. In later times, groups gathered to learn and share their interests and in that sense, our Institution is the child of a long line of Learned Societies. In Britain, the Royal Society dates from 1660. Its first curator of experiments was Robert Hooke whom we might claim as one of our own. Newton was President from 1703 to 1727 and Thomas Young was a member (1773 to 1829), lecturing and writing prolifically with many of his works underpinning our current engineering understanding. These were the origins of where we are now and of the scientific method which is promulgated via Journal papers.