Engineering the future, understanding the past : a social history of technology

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The world is in turmoil: we are witnessing steep social and environmental challenges. Technology is identified as both cause of, and solution to, these challenges. How can we use technology to solve problems, without creating new ones? This book discusses the role of engineering in our age of grand challenges—by drawing lessons from the past. Ever since the birth of modern engineering roughly two centuries ago, technology has helped to reshape our modern world. At the same time, social challenges have shaped engineering science and practice. This book examines why and how engineers have engaged in solving social challenges—challenges for society, for business, and for users. It also asks why some technological solutions have unexpectedly created new problems. And it studies how engineers have coped with technology’s puzzling ability to both help and harm.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages212
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-4853-650-4
ISBN (Print)978-94-6298-540-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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