2004.10.4

西 村 三千男 記

R&Dの語源〜その1

 

この陳腐なテーマを3回に分けて紹介しよう。「Research & Development」または

後の「R&D」は1920年代にデュポン社の研究経営陣が造語したものだとする次

の英文をいきなりお目にかける。

 

By the late 1920s, Du Ponts research directors had begun to use the words

research and development as if they were a single concept★. Later, re-

search and development would be shortened to just “R&D“. The merging

of these two activities into one term suggests that it is very difficult to

differentiate one activity from the other. Research is usually seen as literally

searching for something, and successful research culminates in an invention

which appears in incomplete form, existing more as a promise than a reality.

Development consists of adjusting, altering, and adapting this idealized

concept into a product that can compete successfully in the outside tech-

nological and commercial environment.

 

★の巻末注:

The words were apparently first conceptually connected in the early 1920s.

The first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1923 (R.W.

Burchfield, ed., A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary [Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1982], p.1204)

 

この英文の出典は:

 

D. A. Hounshell & J. K. Smith, Jr.

Science and Corporate Strategy   Du Pont R & D, 1902―1980   pp.249

(Cambridge University Press, 1988)

 

表題の通り、全巻750ページ超をデュポン社のR&D記述のみに費やしている。

この本の素性は何か、どのような経緯でこの本に出会ったかは次回以降。

 

(以下次回)