Engineers for Change: Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America (Engineering Studies)

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Exploring this interplay between expertise and imagination reveals what we gain and lose in pursuit of aspirational visions of innovation. Does America Need More Innovators? This edited volume brings together leading champions, critics, and reformers of innovation in dialogue to explore the past, present, and future of innovation initiatives.

It can be downloaded as a free, open-access edition on the MIT Press website.

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Patrick McCray, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , Engineers for Change My first book shows how engineers in the s helped shape our understanding of technological change as the driver of history. I follow engineers who joined the antiwar and civil rights activists of the era. And yet, the radical minority spurred the professional elites to promote a view of technology as a rapidly accelerating force that our institutions are ill-equipped to handle.

This ideology of technological change still dominates the worldview of engineers and society at large.


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Engineers for Change

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Entrepreneurial, goal-oriented research upends the administrative and financial structures of entire industries. Simultaneous advances in a diverse range of fields intersect to produce research opportunities and new markets. Hybrid teams of experts coalesce and dissolve across disciplinary, institutional, and national boundaries.

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The result is a chaotic engine of accelerating progress that brings great reward to the survivors. It is an expression of Darwinian logic that applies to economics, to knowledge making, and, most of all, to the knowledge workers charged with living in a state of creative flow. One finds the smallest trickle of precursors.

Engineering The Change

The Massachusetts anti-slavery politician Charles Sumner and the adventure novelist Zane Grey also hit upon the idiom. But, its widespread manifestation as a Heraclitian axiom is due to an organized cadre of entrepreneurs in the s and early s.

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Produced by leading science journalists, including senior editor Robert Colborn—Dartmouth engineering grad, published novelist, and former editor of Business Week—and an august advisory board, it carried interviews with Nobel Prize winners, technical executives at Bell Labs, and science administrators from France, Pakistan, and the Soviet Union.

It also offered intimations of an emerging ideology of innovation.

Maass assured his scientific readership that they were the drivers of technical advance, that it was the marketing and business side that did not yet understand the epochal revolution in which they were living, and that they needed to prepare themselves to adjust.

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