University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, March 24th 2017
Speaker: Lee Vinsel, Stevens Institute of Technology
Subject: "Making Maintainers: A Place for History in an Age of Innovation-Speak and Endless Tech Hype"
Refreshments served at 3:25 p.m.

Our culture is obsessed with innovation, which is thought to be the goal of business, policy-making, philanthropy, education, even play. Yet, the vast majority of human activity aims not at creating or adopting innovative things but in maintaining old ones. This talk first traces the rise of innovation-speak in the USA before turning to an alternative view of human life with technology that focuses on maintenance, repair, and mundane labor, a long tradition of thought that includes historians like Ruth Schwartz Cowan and David Edgerton.

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