The Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip writes opinion piece for New Scientist

The Duke of Edinburgh has written an opinion piece, supporting engineering, for the New Scientist magazine.

The article, entitled ‘Make Things Better’, is approximately 500 words long and details The Duke’s passion for the engineering industry.

The piece comes ahead of the announcement of the winner(s) of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering on the 3 February at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Recognising the contribution which engineers make to everyday lives, The Duke states “engineering has made a greater positive difference to human life than almost any other human endeavour,” and says that the Queen Elizabeth prize aims to “recognise those particular feats of engineering that have made a significant impact on human existence.”

Awarded every two years, The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is intended to raise the public profile of engineering, inspiring young people to take up engineering. It was Lord Browne of Madingley, the Prize’s chair of the board of Trustees, who suggested the idea of an article to The Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip’s connections to engineering go back to 1939 when he began naval career which lasted until 1951, the year before his wife became Queen.

The Duke writes: “Great engineers have a passion to improve life; a burning conviction that they can make life better for everyone. Engineers need to have a talent for invention and innovation, but what drives them is the conviction that they can find a better way to do things; a cheaper and more efficient solution to the problems of human existence on this planet of limited resources that we call Earth.”

He adds, “Engineering is not just a profession to be learned and practised as a way of making a living. It is one of the few ways in which human talent can be given the chance to improve, and frequently to transform, the comfort and prosperity of the human community.”

In 1965, The Duke became President of the Council of Engineering Institutions and held the post until 1975.

A year later, he became the Senior Fellow at the Fellowship of Engineering which was established at his suggestion. The Fellowship has been known as the Royal Academy of Engineering since 1992.

The editor of New Scientist, Sumit Paul-Choudhury, said:

“Prince Philip first wrote to The New Scientist, as our magazine was then titled, to congratulate us on the occasion of our first anniversary in 1957. 

“In that letter, he said it was essential that citizens should be able to keep themselves well-informed about scientific matters. We are pleased he is again writing in our pages, this time to reaffirm his support for the invaluable work done by engineers past and present.”

The Duke’s article will be published in print tomorrow and is available to view online, now, on the New Scientist’s website.

Featured Image: University of Salford via photopin cc

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James is Royal Central's Director of Broadcasting and Communications. He's a recognised royal commentator and correspondent and has experience with numerous TV and radio networks including the BBC, ITV, Sky, CNN and MSNBC among others.