08 January 2011

The history of the black box flight recorder

Earlier today I uploaded to the aadiDefence blog my colleague Bill Schofield’s Hargrave Memorial Lecture, which he delivered to the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society (Australian Division) on Monday 6 December.

It is a fascinating story about a great Australian innovation, and an inspiring one about one man’s persistence in seeing it through. It is also a sobering one: no matter how creative our fellow Australians might show themselves to be, there seems to be nothing in our institutional environment which encourages and facilitates the process: dogged spirits manage to succeed in spite of our systems rather than because of them. I know that this is a story that happened quite some time ago, but how much has changed? Not much, as far as I can see; in fact with the requirement for most of our public sector research organisations to justify their research programs by attracting industry funding, I fear things have gone backwards from the depressing picture that emerges from Bill’s lecture.

In spite of that aspect, it is an inspiring story, which you can access here.

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