Investigating Previous To See Know-how’s Future

The MIT Program in Science, Know-how, and Society (STS) not too long ago organized and hosted a two-day symposium, The Historical past of Know-how: Previous, Current, and Future.

The symposium was held June 7-8 at MIT’s Wong Auditorium, and featured students from quite a lot of establishments with experience within the historical past of expertise. Every offered their concepts concerning the intersection of science, expertise, and society, the sector’s wants, and alternatives for its future improvement.

“We’re happy to offer a venue during which these sorts of conversations can happen,” mentioned Deborah Fitzgerald, STS program head and former dean of MIT’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The symposium opened with welcoming remarks from Fitzgerald and MIT Professor Merritt Roe Smith. Fitzgerald and Smith are each Leverett Howell and William King Cutten Professors of the Historical past of Know-how at MIT.

“These sorts of gatherings – of outdated pals and colleagues and a number of other generations of scholars – create new alternatives to advance scholarship, create connections, and maintain abreast of what is occurring within the discipline,” Smith mentioned. “Seeing the long run via the lens of our shared pasts provides an necessary perspective on present improvements.”

Greater than 20 students made shows in the course of the symposium. The subjects and audio system included:

  • David Lucsko PhD ’05, professor of historical past at Auburn College: “How Issues Work and Why It Issues – or, Why Poring over Automotive Wiring Diagrams from the Seventies Is not Truly a Colossal Waste of Time;”
  • Dave Unger, an unbiased public historian: “Instruments for Imagining a Higher World: Social Know-how, Organizational Darkish Matter, and Studying for Distinction;”
  • Gregory Clancey, affiliate professor on the Nationwide College of Singapore: “The Historical past of Know-how in an Age of Mass Extinction;” and
  • Ruth Schwartz Cowan, professor emerita on the College of Pennsylvania: “Does the Historical past of Know-how have a Paradigm?”
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