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SIR ALFRED EGERTON (Secretary, The Royal Society (1938–48) London, 18th March, 1952)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 1 March 1952



In an address given three years before the war on ‘Applied Science’, I seem to have remarked that, ‘The last forty years has seen an immense change: an immense change, too, of outlook. To me it has seemed as if the change came gradually and then the rate of change got more and more rapid and during the last year or two the change has been permanently effected and we have toppled over into a new era.’ The topple over was indeed a deeper topple than even some of us then expected. I think all would agree, however, that there is a tremendous change in outlook. We are far more conscious, and getting more and more conscious, of the material factors, the economic factors, which influence Man's activities, far more conscious of the influence of scientific research and technological developments than we were fifteen or twenty years ago. It is this very consciousness which creates its own difficulties. It is known that if certain changes are made, they will cause other changes; and that if the information is available those changes can be predicted. Therefore, we are loathe to make the change till the information is gathered. If we do not take trouble to get the information, we should blame ourselves or perhaps be blamed. We are all far more closely knit up, far more conscious of our actions. In drawing upon the ocean of knowledge, however, its vastness tends to overwhelm us.


EGERTON, A. (1952), "INFORMATION AND INDUSTRY: A GENERAL SURVEY", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 113-120.




Copyright © 1952, MCB UP Limited

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