This year's Reith Lecturer is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh Sir Edward Appleton. From 1939 to 1949 he was Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and in 1947 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the knowledge of the ionosphere, which led to the development of radar. In his Reith series entitled 'Science and the Nation', he considers the importance of science.
In his fifth lecture entitled 'Industrial Science', Professor Appleton considers the functional uses of science. He explores the scientific research work carried out by industries in order to produce better products, and analyses how automation is expanding this kind of science.