The Inner Ring: The Early History of the National Research Council of Canada
The National Research Council of Canada is a unique organization, internationally known and regarded. It was first established through a sub-committee of the Privy Council which provided for an Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, intended to stimulate and coordinate research activities through scholarships, grants, and committees. Today the NRC is a vast and complex body, engaging in research in such fields as physics, chemistry, radio and electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and medicine, but in the early years the struggle to obtain laboratories was only one of the difficulties experienced during its formation the NRC was faced with administrative and financial problems as well as those resulting from conflicts between and among scientists and administrators.
From official files and documents and private papers and correspondence Mr. Thistle has extracted material to provide an intimate picture of this complex organization in its early years (1917 to 1935) -- people as well as policies are brought to life, and readers are able to see as well how some of the major scientific achievements of the NRC came about: the campaign against wheat rust, investigation of the deterioration of concrete in alkali soils, and the effects of smelter fumes on vegetation. The accounts of the people who were associated with the National Research Council in its early days are fascinating too: scientists, university administrators, and government officials were all engaged in the first struggle, and many of them come vividly to life through excerpts from their correspondence and papers.
All scientists will find this record an engrossing one, and it will be read with interest too by laymen who are intribued by scientific developments, the relationships between science and government, and the history of science.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 472 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
MEL THISTLE was for many years on the staff of the NRC, and is the author of The Inner Ring, an early history of the council. He is now Professor of Journalism at Carleton University, Ottawa.
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