The media may have missed the fact that it was about engineering and technology as well as science (see Vulcan), but the thousands of visitors to last week’s Tomorrow’s World Live exhibition at the NEC didn’t. In advance of official figures, exhibitors and all concerned said attendance surpassed expectations. The show’s sponsor, the Year of Engineering Success, will be looking for ways of building on the interest generated and the exhibition looks like becoming an annual event.
Particularly encouraging was the number of school parties and children of all ages who were obviously fascinated by the way the various hands-on displays helped to bring technology to life. In this connection the stands of the Institutions of Electrical and Civil Engineers gave the lie to the notion that `institution’ equates with `stuffy’.
Which raises the question: where were all the others? The IChemE had a presence on the Engineering Council stand through its Environment 97 Web site, but of the Mechanicals, or any of the smaller professional bodies, there was no sign.