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Our current work is just as special


Mark Whitby's comment (NCE 1 June) issue raises important questions about how we see ourselves as an Institution and a profession.

The fabric of our Institution headquarters is firmly rooted in the 19th century and yet as members we spend much of our time bringing about radical change to our environment. We, above all professions, are aware that change is the one constant we have to deal with as a society. Very few of our efforts go towards maintaining the status quo except, it seems, in our own Institution.

What is so precious that we are afraid to risk it in the cause of moving our Institution forward? The reputations of our forebears are robust enough to survive us making some mistakes in the important work of developing our profession. The work of the current membership is as special and influential as it has ever been.

It is not important that we have modern art in Great George Street, although it would certainly increase the visitor numbers. What is important is that we seem frightened to consider the idea seriously. Those resisting change at the Institution would do well to remember that the things we 'do not do' are as important in defining us as the things we do.

Martin Stockley,

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