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investigation is so broad, and there are so many things waiting to be found out, that every one may do something. The earnest investigator may find much that is new and valuable with one testing machine or one engine, if he only knows where to look.
The work being done in astronomical observatories may serve as an analogy. In this branch of science each investigator knows what things have been done, what things remain to be done and who is trying to do them. He can then confidently begin work on his particular line of research, with the certainty that he can add something to the sum of human knowledge, and he is not at all hampered by the fact that his telescope has an aperture of only six inches while his neighbor's has one of thirty-six.
The engineering observer, on the other hand, is to a certain extent in the dark as to what his neighbors are doing and as to whether his work will be of any value when completed. He is somewhat discouraged also at the meager equipment he has at his disposal and inclined to think that it is useless for him to attempt original research, when, if he knew just where to begin, he might accomplish just as much in his way as his more highly favored neighbor in his.
It would seem that this Society, by its membership, was particularly well fitted to institute a reform in this direction. Just how this reform should be brought about is a question which can only be settled by a full and frank discussion.
A committee might be appointed by the Society, consisting of members of the various engineering professions, such as civil, mechanical, hydraulic and electrical enginineering, to consider the subject and report at the next meeting.
This committee might ascertain from each member the equipment at his disposal for engineering research, the amount of time which could be devoted to it and a brief bulletin of recent and prospective investigations. It might become apparent to the committee that the equipment at certain colleges was particularly well adapted for certain lines of research. It might also be seen that work which one member was doing could be well supplemented by the work of certain other members if they could combine their energies and systematize their methods. It would undoubtedly become evident that some well-meaning but poorly informed inquirers were throwing away their time in winnowing old straw.
The committee might properly receive advice from all members who are interested in this subject, especially suggestions as to inviting lines of research and fields where there is need of more workers. The position of the committee or of the Society in this work would be of an advisory character. No member would be obliged to follow their suggestions unless it pleased him to do so, but the mutual advantage of some such an arrangement would be so great that no member would be apt to disregard the advice given.
At this stage of the world's history it is hardly necessary to enlarge on the advantages of harmony and concert of action in any undertaking, and to one who believes that the spirit of scientific investigation is the great motive force of the world's advancement, the importance of using intelligently the time and means at our disposal needs no argument. This paper has been written in the hopes of provoking discussion and not as a full presentment of the subject.
No doubt some will say that this Society has nothing to do with original research. It is not the intention of the writer to propose that scientific papers of this character shall come before the Society, but that this Society, which is made up of teachers from every branch of engineering, shall endeavor to organize its membership in such a way that they may accomplish more than they do now with the same expenditure of time. This is a work that no other society can do so well, and it need not interfere with the regular work of the Society.
The writer would respectfully urge that a committee be appointed at this meeting in such way as the Society may see fit, and with such powers as may seem best to the members present.
DISCUSSION. PROFESSOR G. D. SHEPARDSON desired to call attention to one way in which work of this kind is done to a small extent. He referred to the very commendable feature of the catalogues of some colleges, which print each year a list of the graduating theses of the students. Some catalogues contain complete lists of the theses subjects in preceding years. By watching these it is possible to obtain a fair idea of the sort of work which is being done in various colleges. That feature of the catalogues at a very few of the colleges might be well adopted by others. At the University of Minnesota the topics of the theses have been published to some extent in the Quarterly Bulletin and Students' Year-book, but they have not been published in the catalogue.
PROFESSOR G. W. BISSELL called attention to the fact that there are two institutions in the country that go a little further than this. Cornell University, through its engineering magazine, the Sibley Journal of Engineering, publishes the theses of the graduating classes, the most notable ones in full, and the major part of them in abstract; and the University of Wisconsin issues, he understood, a quarterly magazine devoted largely to the presentation of the results of investigation conducted by faculty and students alike. It seems that these are two worthy examples along the lines suggested by Professor Benjamin.
PROFESSOR STORM BULL desired to make a slight correction of Professor Bissell's remarks. The students have just started an engineering quarterly journal at the University of Wisconsin in which some of the theses will find a place; but the Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin, in which are published results of investigations in various lines, in history, in political economy, in engineering, is the one he really refers to. This Bulletin is published as often as need be. That is, if it is found that something has been done which is worthy of publication it is published; otherwise not; and so at intervals, a Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin is issued.
ON THE DESIRABILITY OF INSTRUCTION OF UNDERGRADUATES IN THE ETHICS OF
THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION.
BY CHARLES CARROLL BROWN,
The subjects of ethics, compensation and qualifications are too intimately connected to be entirely separated, and the two latter must be considered more or less in discussing the former. The profession of engineering is too young, in this country at least, to have its status fully defined, and proper recognition of its high position in the world's work has been retarded by ignorance of its value and noble character. The writer is not one who considers engineering simply as a trade or handicraft, though most laymen and too many persons calling themselves engineers take that low view of its position, but he emphatically demands its recognition as one of the learned professions, quite as dignified as any of them and more valuable to the community at large. The low estimation in which engineering in general is held, is due largely to public ignorance and to the incapacity of the many self-styled engineers with which the country has been flooded. The large amount of engineering work to be done in comparison with the number of skilled engineers, and the public ignorance of the necessary qualifications to secure good work, have been the opportunity for the many surveyors and surveyors' helpers to develop rapidly into full fledged engineers in name, but seldom in capacity and knowledge. After many expensive lessons the public will begin to learn that one
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