How to Plan an Inconsequential Research Project

by Morris B. Ettinger,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1965, Vol. 91, Issue 4, Pg. 19-22

Document Type: Journal Paper


The consequences of successful research in many scientific disciplines have been a series of great advances that have taxed the economic, political, social, and physical resources of a society. In contrast, the sanitary engineer has a distinguished record of earnest research effort untarnished by embarrassing accomplishments. Conceptual techniques used by the sanitary engineer in assuring inconsequential research are classified into eight general groups as follows: (1) The platinum bridge; (2) the me too; (3) the frog swallows the ox; (4) the mathematical doodlement; (5) the details of the inconsequential; (6) the ivory tower sewer; (7) the grasshopper perspective; and (8) the cosmetic approach. Idealized samples are cited to illustrate the application of the general technique to specific problems related to the practical design of the inconsequential research project.

Subject Headings: Bridge towers | Economic factors | Political factors | Social factors | Distinguished engineers | Bridge engineering | Mathematics | Sewers

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