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A View from the Frontiers of Economic Research

  • Phyllis Deane
Chapter
Part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science book series

Abstract

Economists have played a part in the annual meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science ever since its foundation in 1833. Indeed, during its first half-century they seem to have been able to exchange seminal ideas with leading natural scientists more freely and fruitfully than they do now. In those days the President of Section F was often a Fellow of the Royal Society. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, the two biologists who arrived independently at the theory of natural selection, each claimed to have hit on the vital clue to their new theory as a result of reading Malthus’s Essay on Population.1 Among the political economists who became enthusiastic Darwinians, for example, was Henry Fawcett, a member of the 1860 British Association audience that witnessed the famous science v. religion confrontation in Oxford between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce:2 and Alfred Marshall, Fawcett’s successor in the Cambridge Chair of Political Economy was to sprinkle his influential Principles of Economics (1890) with biological ideas and analogies.

Keywords

Economic Research National Income Economic Knowledge Nobel Laureate Mathematical Economic 
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Notes

  1. 3.
    For the full quotation see Keynes’s Essays in Biography, p. 186, f.n. in Vol X of The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes (London: Macmillan, 1972).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    David Henderson, Innocence and Design, the 1985 Reith Lectures (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Alfred Marshall, ‘The Old Generation of Economists and the New’, Quarterly Journal of Economics (1897).Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    R. Solow, ‘Economic History and Economics’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 1985, p.329.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    John Ziman, Reliable Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 1978).Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Gerard Debreu, ‘Mathematical Economics’, Econometrica, 1986.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    R. Solow, ‘Economic History and Economies’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 1985, p. 328.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Tjalling Koopmans, ‘The Econometric Approach to Business Fluctuations’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 1949, p. 70. Koopmans is recognised as ‘the father of simultaneous equations in econometric methods’.Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    Jan Tinbergen, ‘The Use of Models: Experience and Prospects’, American Economic Review, December 1981, p. 17. Tinbergen was Director of the Netherlands Central Planning Bureau from 1945 to 1955.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Association for the Advancement of Science 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis Deane

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