TOTS AND QUOTS, 1931-1973

Contains three sub-series

SZ/TQ/1 Procedures, minutes and correspondence, 1931-1973

SZ/TQ/2 Societies and publications, 1940-41

SZ/TQ/3 Science in War, 1939-1948

Lord Ritchie-Calder, a founder member, referred to the Tots and Quots dining club as a "a group of then young scientists, destined for eminence in the scientific world." What was debated, particularly in the first two years, was the general significance of science to society and the conscious role science might play in social development. The club was formed by SZ and some like-minded friends and the first meeting took place in 1931. It met regularly until January 1933 but by the time SZ returned from a period of research in the United States in mid 1934 the club was moribund. The first dinner of its second phase, stimulated by concern that science and scientists should be effectively deployed in the war effort, was held on 23.11.39. In 1942 the dinners once again became infrequent since most members were by then completely immersed in war-time duties. By the end of the war however the club was very much alive again, but this situation was not to last. Its final demise owed something to a growing intolerance on the part of members to one another’s political leanings, and maybe more to the fact that SZ no longer had the time or patience to organise dinners. The lasting monument to the club is the book Science in War written by its members and published by Penguin in 1940.

See also File SZ/RS/6 concerning the Royal Society's Cultural Relations Committee, and Series SZ/BAAS.

Reference to the Tots and Quots can be found in Gary Werskey’s The Visible College, London, Allen Lane, 1978.