Letter: Corpse not corporate

December 21, 2001

Save British Science has the job of saying things other people do not want to hear, so we have never won a prize and were delighted to be nominated in the The THES ("Boom and bust", THES , December 14) for the 2001 Nonsense on Stilts award for my comments about the significance of the centenary of Guglielmo Marconi's first transatlantic wireless message.

Unfortunately, although I may be accused of having said some daft things over the years, your diarist has blown our chances of winning the coveted "Nonsense" award by nominating Save British Science for the prize on the basis of my eminently sensible comments about Marconi.

Since diaries are generally based on up-to-the-minute observations, The THES diarist may like to know that Marconi has been dead since 1937 and can hardly be to blame for the "corporate collapse induced by technological over-ambition" of which you accuse the present-day Marconi company. Whatever its troubles, the firm is lucky to be here at all. The overwhelming majority of early radio companies collapsed through technological under-ambition.

Peter Cotgreave
Save British Science

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