A discussion of the communication of research results has to begin with clarification of the terms and with a limiting of the boundaries of a subject too wide for a single talk. Though scientific knowledge acquired for its own sake is eventually applied and though communication in pure science also has its problems, Aslib is primarily interested in science applied to technology; and so I shall limit my discussion to problems of communication in applied science. But even the term ‘applied science’ embraces a wide spectrum of problem‐solving activities: the problems at one extreme are to find technological applications of new scientific theories and, at the other, to find optimum solutions of technological problems for a given set of economic and practical conditions. It is convenient to retain the term ‘applied science’ for research work which springs from science and looks towards its application; work which springs from a technological problem and looks towards science is best called ‘technological development’ or simply ‘development’. In most industrial laboratories both applied science and technological development are undertaken side by side, and rightly so since each stimulates the other, but the distinction between them is needed here because, as we shall see, their communication processes are different.
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