Here you will find useful information about our 44th annual symposium, which will be held as a part of the 25th International Congress of the History of Science and Technology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 23-29 July 2017. The general theme of the Congress is "Science, Technology and Medicine between the Global and the Local.” This page will be updated regularly, so you’d better stay tuned.
: : Call for Papers (updated 4 February 2016)
West - East Transfer of Technology During The Cold War
The history of transferring knowledge and technology between East and West, socialist and capitalist, big and small states has attracted many researchers. Current historiography proposes new sources and approaches studying various forms of transfer on different levels, emphasizing not only conventional trade flows from West to East, but vice versa as well as other more or less unofficial forms of technology mobility. They include communication between scientists, attending exhibitions and conferences as well as copying patented innovations and industrial espionage among other channels of transfer, which demonstrate the permeability of geographical, state, cultural, political, social, and institutional borders. This permeability was also attested during the Cold War, results of which demonstrate the significance of East and West transfers and as Karen Freeze puts it in her article on Czechoslovak theatre technologies and their move westward: “we may conclude that the Iron Curtain was more permeable than previously thought”. Consequently, technology transfer opens a wide and challenging field of research. Apart explaining movement and exchange of technologies, transfers explicate social, political and cultural transformations they entail and serve for. They also help explain communication of different actors on governmental, institutional, company and individual levels.
Following this wide meaning of technology transfers between East and West our session proposal contains empirically based and conceptually solid contributions to the symposium’s subtheme Moving and removing technology: Territorial movements of technology and technological knowledge. Although much good research on the topic has already been done, there are still many grey areas in this large field. Historiography on transfers still requires more case studies, in particular on small Eastern and Central European countries, involving more areas and focuses in order to develop better comprehension of how soft and hard technologies cross borders, how they influence those who were engaged in transfer, what role did the transfer play in social change and other transformations.
History of Tourism: What can the History of Technology contribute?
During the second half of the 20th century tourism became a typical leisure activity of members of consumer societies. Meanwhile tourism is one of the most important sectors of the economy and is of global occurrence. Indeed cities are growing especially for tourism. For example, the Spanish Costa del Sol developed from an economically poor region of agriculture and fishing in the 1950s to a mega city of 150 km length today. The city’s environment and the city’s infrastructure is designed especially for tourism. What about the technical requirements and the environmental impacts of such developments? In which way were experiences of travelling shaped by technology and by the built environment?
Papers could deal with:
- The technical development of hotels or apartments for vacation
- The infrastructure of tourist places
- The development of transportation facilities
- Old and new technology as tourist attraction
- Comparison of relatively new special tourist cities and cities which became tourist places due to their history as the Austrian city of Salzburg
- The environmental impact of tourism and its ongoing discussions
- The experiences of touristic travelling and the role of technology
Please contact me, submit an abstract of 250 words, and a one-page CV to email@example.com until 8 March 2016. Stefan Poser, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg
Unconventional History: Sixty Years of Science and Technology in Hydraulic Fracturing
The goal of this session is bringing together practitioners from academia and industry, as well as experts from the civil society to present and discuss the historical development and application of technologies for unconventional gas and oil projects during the past sixty years.
Session organizer: Francesco Gerali (see below for details)
The Workflow of Oil: Upstream, Midstream, Downstream Technologies in 19th and 20th Century
The historians and industry professionals invited in this session will discuss the dynamics, people, facts and artifacts that along two centuries forged and improved the three rings of the petroleum production chain: upstream, midstream and downstream. The lectures are framed in a national and transnational contest with global outreach, and developed following multidisciplinary trajectories focused on science, technology, politics, economics, and environment.
The deadline to submit your abstract is 14 March 2016. Abstracts (max 300 words) have to be accompanied by a one-page resume (max 600 words) and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, in copy to email@example.com.
Honorary Research Fellow
Learning by Experience as a Driving Force in Technological Development: Global and Local Perspectives
One of the most important ways of using the past is in collecting experience that informs future action. We propose that learning by doing is crucial to technical development in industry. For example experienced workers can be the key to innovating in industry. What is important is that the knowledge that they derive from learning from experience be transferred to those members of a company or institution that are responsible for innovation. This session seeks to identify such knowledge and how it moves among actors. Adding “learning by experience” to the existing debate about the role of tacit knowledge for innovation will benefit the history of technology and help to make learning by experience a more accepted type of knowledge among historians.
The proposed research topic will tackle the question of relationship between learning by doing and technical development in major industrial centres all over the world. Our hypothesis is that these were closely linked. What will be particularly interesting (and new) from the global perspective will be an ability to test how assumptions applied previously in exclusively national narratives would work in transnational context. Our experience has shown that a transnational perspective is an important aspect of innovative history that facilitates understanding. Through the comparison of case studies - comparing not only across nations but also crucial industries, we will be able to develop a broader sense of the importance of learning from experience.
Propositions for papers including an abstract of 250 words and a one-page CV should be submitted by 8 February 2016. The abstract and CV should be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page updated: 3 March 2017