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Title: Science, government & industrial research : the origins & development of the National Physical Laboratory, 1900-1975.
Author: Moseley, Russell
ISNI:       0000 0000 6489 3267
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1976
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This thesis examines the origins and development of the National Physical Laboratory, created in 1900 as the first government funded institution in Britain to undertake scientific research of intended industrial benefit. Within an expanding government scientific network the Laboratory's evolution is traced through three distinct stages, separated by the two world wars. Particular emphasis is placed upon the relations between the Laboratory, the Treasury and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; upon the. role of the scientific community and civil servants in determining the Laboratory's research orientation; and upon the importance of the Laboratory for the embryonic physics profession. In the light of these themes the thesis analyses a number of historical problems in the relation between science and government since 1900; changing perceptions of the NPL's function; and current debates over the role of government research establishments. It is argued that a lack of close contact with civil industry, after 1939 together with restrictions placed on the Laboratory's work by contemporary theories of technological innovation have been responsible for the NPL's present ill-defined position. In relation to the Laboratory's development and past traditions some prescriptive comments are made concerning the NPL in particular and government research establishments in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available