In Japan and Germany, engineers are confident about their status in society; that society knows it needs them to survive. We need them too, says Anthony Sampson, and everyone must realise it if decline is to be reversed.
Why are British engineers so little known and honoured, compared to other professions, or to their counterparts abroad? It has always concerned me, as the son of an industrial scientist, since I first tried to describe Britain's anatomy 30 years ago. As manufacturing industry has declined still further, I have watched engineers become still more aware of their lack of recognition and influence.