The Professionals, the Scientists and the Generalists

  • Geoffrey Kingdon Fry


At one of the first dinner parties that he attended at Oxford, the newly appointed Professor Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, expressed his misgivings about thcstatus of science in Oxford to the wife of the Warden of All Souls. ‘You need not worry,’ she assured him, ‘a man who has got a First in Greats could get up science in a ‘fortnight.’ Lindemann credited himself with replying: ‘What a pity your husband has never had a fortnight to spare.’ 1 This conversation, although set in the early 1920s, in an exaggerated form does give a sense of the greater esteem given to arts studies in this country as opposed to those in science, and the differential would be even more marked if technology was brought into the picture and probably as much if the social sciences were considered too. It would be surprising if the structure of the Civil Service did not reflect this respect for the non-vocational as opposed to vocational education.


Professional Staff Professional Accountant Select Committee Administrative Post Scientific Officer 


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  1. 1.
    R. F. Harrod, The Prof. A Personal Memoir of Lord Cherwell (1959) pp. 52–3.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Arthur Newsholme, The Ministry of Health (1925) p. 92.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Harold J. Laski, ‘ The Tomlin Report on the Civil Service’, in Political Quarterly (1931) p. 517.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harold J. Laski, ‘The Place of the Professional Civil Servant in Public Administration’, in State Service (1926) p. 190.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    William A. Robson, ‘The Reform of Government’, in Political Quarterly (1964) p. 209.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© G. K. Fry 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Kingdon Fry
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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