Some choice quotes to introduce a good lecture about Engineering:

‘…[snip], Napoleon dismissed Robert Fulton’s claim of a steam-powered ship: “What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you excuse me. I have no time to listen to such nonsense.”

Or consider the pronouncement of Dr. Dionysus Lardner, professor at University College in London, on the prospects of a new form of transportation: “Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”

Or hear the opinion of the commander of the army’s cavalry in 1938, just before World War II: “We must not be misled to our detriment to assume that the untried machine can displace the proved and tried horse.”

Or listen to a great aviator speaking about the profession: “Flying machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.”‘ (from 1996 Woodruff Distinguished Lecture by Norman Augustine)

If you are an engineer or interested in the topic, the lecture has some great lessons.

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