The Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment invites
you to two seminars next week when we have the pleasure to introduce two
international guests in the STS-field.
On Monday the 22 October, Janet Abbate will present the topic "The Place
of Computer Science Among the Sciences"
This talk will focus on efforts to define computer science as an
academic discipline, with historical examples from the 1960s to the
present. Is theoretical computer science truly a science? What sets it
apart from mathematics or engineering? Is computer science leading the
way to a future in which all scientific disciplines will emphasize
interdisciplinary collaboration and close ties between theory and
application? Debates over these questions reveal areas of consensus and
conflict over the content and purpose of computer science, as well as
contemporary beliefs about the nature and value of science itself.
Janet Abbate is Associate Professor of Science and Technology in Society
at Virginia Tech University. Her book Inventing the Internet (MIT Press,
1999) is a standard reference on the history of the Internet. She
recently completed a study of gender in the history of computing called
Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing (MIT Press,
2012). Her current research project investigates the historical
emergence of theoretical computer science as an intellectual discipline,
an academic institution, and a professional identity.
Time and place is 13.15 - 14.45 at Brinellvägen 32, 3rd floor.
On Tuesday 23 October, we offer a colloquium in cooperation with the
Unit for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, KTH. Amy Slayton
from Drexel University will speak about:
"Diversity, Social Justice, and Humanistic Reform in American
Engineering Education: A Challenging History"
The underrepresentation of women, minority group members, and persons
with disabilities in engineering fields has long troubled the American
university. Since the late 1970s, legal and institutional reforms have
brought welcome but to some eyes limited change. Most recently, the
nation's embrace of neoliberal ideologies seems to reassert particularly
dated and discriminatory ideas about aptitude, talent and difference.
This talk explores how historical and social-scientific studies of
engineering education, tracing the origins and meanings of technical
rigor in STEM programming, would reveal both historical limits and
possible means of expanding diversity in technical disciplines.
Amy E. Slaton is a professor of history at Drexel University. She holds
a PhD in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of
Pennsylvania. Her most recent book, Race, Rigor and Selectivity in U.S.
Engineering: The History of an Occupational Color Line (Harvard
University Press, 2010), follows racial ideologies in engineering higher
education since the 1940s. She is currently writing on the challenges
facing two-year colleges seeking to prepare high-tech workforces as
automation, outsourcing, and other impediments to industrial employment
gain momentum in American manufacturing, focused on the ostensible rise
of a “nanomanufacturing sector.” Prof. Slaton has also written on
instrumentation, standards and the history of materials. She produces
the blog, STEMequity.com, centered on equity in technical education and
Time: 13.15 - 15
Address: Hjärne, Osquars backe 31, see map:
Maja Fjaestad and Sabine Höhler
Full seminar schedule: