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more detailed technical courses at the expense of other backgroundbuilding studies. This temptation, weighty as are the arguments for yielding to it, must nevertheless be steadily and firmly resisted. The problem of modern technical education is indeed most intricate and difficult, but other solutions must be earnestly sought, for we cannot afford to sacrifice the breadth of a man to create a too narrowly efficient machine.
When President Maclaurin said "A technical school is not doing its whole duty unless it keeps in the closest touch with industry", he spoke the minds of many thoughtful men.
The two outstanding industrial problems today are: (1) The more intensive application of scientific knowledge and research to the processes and products of industry; (2) the cultivation of more understanding and wholesome relations between labor and management. Both of these problems may rightly claim attention in any modern scheme of technical education. On each of these questions I wish to speak very briefly.
Of scientific research there are two more or less distinct types. Both embody the genuine spirit of inquiry; both use the same tools and instruments under similar laboratory conditions. The essential difference between them is not in method but in aim and intention. In applied science research, the controlling purpose is to reach a definite and predetermined result which can be immediately applied to the material profit, convenience or comfort of man. In pure science research, the only purpose is the discovery of new knowledge without thought of any material benefit to anybody. The fundamental discoveries from which applied science gets its raw material for useful applications come out of the pure science laboratory. That you cannot apply knowledge you haven't got needs no proving.
Take any familiar application of science you choose, and one, two, or at most three backward steps bring you to the pure science laboratory where the fact or principle employed was first discovered. Sir J. J. Thomson has said in substance, "If you want improvements in industry, you may turn with confidence to applied science. If you want to revolutionize an industry or create a new one, you will do well to search the innermost recesses of the pure science laboratory." The difference between the man of theory and the practical man is one of suggestiveness and scope.
Applied science research in the modern sense is of comparatively recent origin. What we now call pure science is centuries older. At its beginning, therefore, applied science had the accumulated results of centuries of pure science to draw upon, but, due to the brilliantly amazing progress of applied science, that surplus in many fields is nearing exhaustion.
With depleted reserves applied science must soon face one of two alternatives. Either it must descend from its past and present rapid
succession of revolutionary achievements to a more modest hand-to-mouth existence, reworking old ores and consuming next year whatever pure science, at its present working rate, may discover this; or else the hosts of pure science research must be vastly strengthened, and the volume of their yearly output many times increased.
That some of our more progressive industries already realize the situation is amply proved by the very rapidly increasing amount of pure science research issuing from the research laboratories of our optical, chemical, electrical and other highly developed industries.
Under these circumstances technical schools owe to modern industry the more intensive cultivation of research with increasing emphasis on pure science. Every possible means should be used to train up more men in pure science, men competent to enter the fruitful and important field of research, to supply the rapidly increasing demand for workers in the fast-multiplying laboratories of progressive industry.
In every fruitful co-operation between technical education and industry, our schools should be prepared to give more than they receive and to lead, not follow.
Under the present organization of our largest industries the conscious responsibilities of real ownership have become somewhat vague. Industrial ownership today is widely diffused and dispersed. Shares of ownership are bought and sold daily by hundreds of thousands. Certificates of ownership are often regarded by their holders more as sources of income than as symbols of responsibility.
As a working plan the rights and duties of ownership are delegated to boards of directors, and the active management of our industries rests in the hands of employees. Thus the older distinction of employer, meaning owner, and employee, meaning workman, has largely ceased in our largest industrial corporations. All are essentially employees, but of two distinct classes, brain workers and hand workers. The brain workers build up, maintain and manage the business, and direct the hand workers, as brain directs hands in the individual, with this important and sometimes vaguely realized difference, that the hands in this case are not instruments only, but independent, thinking, feeling personalities.
The older or traditional attitude toward labor unrest was that the questions involved were purely economic questions. More thoughtful and more widely informed people, and there are many of them, feel that the problem is not so simple, but involves many additional elements, chiefly those which enter into all human relationships.
Purely for the sake of illustration, let us take the case of a not uncommon type of workman who becomes dissatisfied with his job. He feels little or no loyalty to the business nor to the foreman or manager who personifies it. He understands neither the manager's work in relation to production, nor the manager's pay.
There are further enviable differences between the manager's
apparent freedom of action, his more comfortable working surroundings, and those of the laborer. The laborer fails to realize the economic reasons for these differences. The manager in his sight produces nothing, hence the laborer doubts in his heart the importance of managers and higher officials in general. From his warped outlook, wages would be higher if these men who meddle, but do no real work, were removed from the payroll.
Thus he feels little respect or liking for the management. The manager may also seem lacking in respect for a sour-tempered operative. The motives behind the simplest manifestations of good-will may be misconstrued and distrusted. Thus a mutual economic necessity is the only binding material which holds these two together, and each chafes at the bond.
Dissatisfied, the laborer shirks and hates his employment which, in this mood, is without human appeal or interest for him. Furtively shirking, he loses some of his sense of personal dignity and much of his self-respect. Sooner or later, as circumstances favor, he will try to regain a feeling of self-importance by trying with others who are likeminded a concerted conflict with the management in the form of a strike. If the strike is won, the worker feels his course justified, his conduct approved, his self-esteem in a measure restored. If lost, he returns to his work liking it and his superiors none the better, only to wait sullenly for another trial of strength.
The laborer's indiscriminate and integrated discontent he is likely to attribute to a spectre called capitalism. Capitalism is, therefore, his enemy. This monster he attacks in the one spot where he believes its nervous system is centered its purse. To the agitator of disorganization this mass of accumulated and unsorted discontent is his one great opportunity, and we know he is quick to make the most of it. To the typical proletarian, not the least of the attractions of a worldleveling-down program is the removal of the people he believes respect neither him nor his labor.
This brief view of the tangle of disorders and misconceptions, which may arise in a workingman's mind, shows mental states of by no means infrequent occurrence.
Now the true essence of successful industry is mutual respect between employee and manager, willing co-operation, a sense of mutual opportunity and responsibility, and a shared personal or institutional loyalty. But these factors are human rather than economic. Economic necessity alone is not only powerless to create them but oftener operates to weaken or destroy them.
Human relationships in industry we have now and always have had, and, whether recognized or not, they have caused quite as much trouble as purely economic conditions, for the state of a laborer's mind, more even than the state of his purse, determines his acts.
No industrial question is of greater importance than human relations in industry, and none is more complex nor baffling. Yet no pains can be spared, or are being spared, to find remedial measures. Many
hopeful schemes for a better human organization of industry have been suggested and are under trial, some fortunately with encouraging promise.
The dominant bearing of this discussion on technical education is this: Our technical schools are training the future brain workers and managers of industry. We may, therefore, well ask ourselves, at this time, if there is anything we can do beyond what we are now doing to train our students to understand more fundamentally and to meet more successfully the gravest of all their future responsibilities, the organization and management of men. A responsibility which they and we owe, not industry alone, but to the whole economic, social and political stability of the nation.
ALUMNI HOLD INAUGURAL BANQUET
A large gathering welcomes President Nichols and bids
THE Inaugural Dinner of the Alumni Association, held on Wednesday evening, June 8, in Walker Memorial, was an occasion both joyous and sorrowful, a time for pledging allegiance to the new and mourning the loss of the old. In addition to the greeting to a new president, the dinner was the final episode in a career of forty years of service to Technology of Dean Alfred E. Burton.
Every speaker paid tribute to President Ernest Fox Nichols, and the alumni leaders pledged to him support in the name of fourteen thousand graduates. Dean Burton, who because of his wife's illness must leave the East, said in closing his final speech as a Technology official: "If Dr. Maclaurin could have named a man to carry on his work, that man would have been Ernest Fox Nichols. He was his friend, colleague and co-worker."
Nearly five hundred members of the organization came together for the occasion, and all joined in giving an enthusiastic welcome to the new chief. At his invitation they also stood together in silent tribute to the former president of the Institute, Dr. Maclaurin. The program included singing under the leadership of Orville B. Denison, '11. Amid cheers from the alumni congratulatory telegrams were read from Dr. Nichols's former associates at the Nela Park research laboratory. Another demonstration occurred when the flags of classes '20 and '21 were presented for display on the walls of Walker Memorial.
The Technology plant was in gala attire for the dinner. Every light in the massive buildings was turned on, and over the dome played a flood of colored lights in rainbow hues, while the beams of a searchlight stationed on the Boston side ranged over the entire river frontage.
A suggestion of Dr. Arthur D. Little, '85, the new president of the alumni, that the bridge over the Charles, "now known unwarrantedly as the Harvard Bridge," be replaced by a modern structure to be known as Technology Bridge, aroused great enthusiasm.
The speakers were introduced by Leonard Metcalf, '92, retiring president of the association. At the head table with him were: President Nichols; Dean Alfred E. Burton, retiring dean; Dr. Arthur D. Little, '85, president-elect Alumni Association; Dr. Elihu Thomson, retiring as acting president of the Institute; Francis R. Hart, '89, treasurer of the Institute; Edwin S. Webster, '88, member of the Corporation; Dr. Henry P. Talbot, '85, chairman of the Faculty, M. I. T.; Prof. Dwight S. Porter, retiring professor from Civil Engineering department; Reginald H. Smithwick, '21, president of the Senior Class; Desmond FitzGerald, Corporation; Arthur T. Hopkins, '97, president of the Technology Clubs Associated; Prof. Edward F. Miller, '86, Administrative Committee;