MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The 1998—99 year was a banner year for STS. The Program graduated five new Ph.D.s, welcomed two new junior faculty members, and marked the retirement of Professor Loren Graham with a series of colloquia on science, technology, and society within an international context. The public STS colloquia series was again stellar, including the annual Arthur Miller Lecture on Science and Ethics delivered by the Lewis Thomas Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and leading figure in xenotransplatation, Dr. Fritz Bach. Our graduate students also organized their own brown-bag series of outside speakers, and have become extremely active in attending and giving papers at national professional meetings. STS conducted a junior faculty search for a scholar working on the international dimensions of science, technnology, and society. Although we had 145 applications, and formally interviewed four candidates, we did not come to a consensus candidate and did not make an offer. The search will continue next year. On the administrative side, with the departure of our long-term Administrative Officer, Ms. Judith Stein, for a position with MIT's SAP office, we conducted a search and hired a new Adminstrative Officer, Ms. Jennifer Crockett; and in the Spring also conducted successful searches for two replacement secretarial positions.


In its eleventh year, the History and Social Study of Science and Technology (HSSST) Doctoral Program (a collaborative venture of STS, the History Faculty, and the Anthropology Program) continued to develop in a satisfactory way. We are particularly pleased that five students completed their Ph.D.s. One of these, Dr. Jennifer Mnookin, is already teaching at the University of Virginia Law School; a second, Dr. Gregory Clancey, has accepted a position in the History Department at the National University of Singapore; a third, Dr. Linda Endersby, is employed at the University of Missouri; a fourth, Dr. Vyacheslav Gerovitch will hold a postdoctoral fellowship at the Dibner Institute; and the fifth, Dr. Diane Greco is planning to take some time off to pursue a creative writing endeavor. Four other students passed their General Exams. Present and incoming students received a variety of grants and fellowships, including fellowships from the Dibner Institute, National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Max Planck Institute, as well as Walter Rosenblith and MIT Presidential fellowships.

The HSSST Doctoral Program received 78 applications for the 1999—2000 academic year. Five students accepted, all of our top choices. We actually made seven offers, hoping for a return of five or six. Of the two who declined, one, working in Chinese medicine and science, chose to go to the University of Pennsylvania where Professor Nathan Sivan (formerly of MIT) seemed to her to be able to provide a more exact match to her interests than we could currently provide; the other never replied to our offer, or phone calls, and we do not know where she has ended up. Of the five who will join us next year, two are international students, a male MIT trained engineering

Ph.D. from Taiwan, and a female sociology student from Korea.

HSSST graduate students Ms. Hannah Landecker and Mr. Chris Kelty again for a second year provided leadership for the Cultural Studies of Science Seminar Series at the Harvard Center for Literary and Cultural Studies. Professor Michael Fischer and Assistant Professor Joseph Dumit were the faculty coordinators from MIT. Graduate students Mr. Benjamin Pinney and Mr. Timothy Wolters ran the student brown bag series in the History of Technology (H.O.T.).


Professor Louis L. Bucciarelli continues to work under a grant of $47,485 from France-Telecom to carry out a comparative study of the development and use of applications related to Telemedicine in France and in the United States. He has been assisted on this project by HSSST doctoral student Mr. Kelty.

Professor Graham applied for and received a $30,000 grant from the Mather Fund in Cleveland, Ohio, for the United States National Forest Service.

Professor Kenneth Keniston continued to his research on cultural aspects of software localization with support from the NEC Corporation (via the Provost's MIT Research Support Committee), the Provost's HASS Fund, and the Mustard Seed Foundation.

Professor Mindell continued his research on technology, archaeology and the deep sea with support from the Wade Fund (via the Provost's MIT Research Support Committee), the Kaplan Foundation, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Work continued on the history textbook project, "Integrating the American Past: A New Narrative History of the United States," with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (grant total: $1.754 million over eight years). The project is headed by Professor Merritt Roe Smith and includes Professors Pauline Maier (MIT), Daniel Kevles (California Institute of Technology), and Alex Keyssar (Duke University) as primary authors.


The STS Program offered 18 undergraduate subjects and 17 graduate subjects. Undergraduate enrollment totaled 380 (fall: 151; spring: 229). Graduate enrollment totaled 136 (fall: 83; spring: 53). During the 1998—99 academic year there were 4 majors, 3 minors, and 44 concentrators.

New undergraduate subjects for 1998—99 include STS.034, "The Prehistory of Computing" (Leo Marx Career Development Assistant Professor Jessica Riskin), STS.066, "Brains and Culture" (Professor Dumit), and "Philosophical Problems Concerning the Nature and Origins of Life" (a HASS-D taught jointly by Assistant Professor Edward Hall of Course 24 and Professor Evelyn Fox Keller). New graduate subjects include STS.447, "Information: Theory" (Professor Dumit), and "Social and Political Implications of Technology" (Professor Merritt Roe Smith).


This year's Siegel Prize for the best work by an MIT student in science, technology, and society was shared by HSSST graduate students Mr. Kelty and Ms. Rachel Prentice. Mr. Kelty's paper is called "Life is a Series of Tests, Some Just Count More"; Ms. Prentice's paper is titled, "Calculating Machines, Calculating Women: Redesigning Astronomical and Scientific Computation in Britain, 1925—1946." Dr. Bach, Lewis Thomas Professor at the Harvard Medical School and Director of the Immunobiology Research Center at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was this year's speaker at the Annual Arthur Miller Lecture on Science and Ethics held May 3, 1999. Dr. Bach's talk, "Xenotransplantation. Cure or Cataclysm?" was widely attended.

Several events were planned in honor of Professor Graham who is retiring from the MIT faculty on July 1, 1999. On April 5 and 12, the STS Program held special colloquia, each with two speakers, on international themes. Dinners followed both colloquia where members of the STS faculty and invited guests paid tribute to Professor Graham's many accomplishments. A day-long symposium to provide both new insights into Soviet science and society, and a chance to celebrate Professor Graham's scholarly life, was planned by the STS Program in collaboration with Harvard's Davis Center and History of Science Department and held on April 24, 1999. The morning session and lunch were held at MIT, and the afternoon session and a dinner were held at Harvard.

STS Colloquia series, headed by Professor Fischer, continued to be a core activity of the HSSST Doctoral Program. This year's series was comprised of 19 speakers from such institutions as Radcliffe's Bunting Institute, Harvard, University of California, Berkeley, Manchester University, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and covered a wide range of topics from "In the Air: How Military and Civil Realms Share Information," to "Lowriders to Los Alamos: Visualizing Science and Technology," to "Military Organization and Its Discontents: Gunpowder Production in the Era of Enlightenment," to "Amazonian Amerindians and the Atomic Bomb: Human Biology in Lowland South America (1960—1990)." Professor Fischer organized six brown bag lunch discussions for HSSST doctoral students and STS faculty. Three of these talks gave our faculty and students the opportunity to meet with directors of parallel interdisciplinary programs at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, University of Trondheim in Norway, and the Munich Center for History of Science and Technology at the Deutsches Museum. Two of these talks gave Visiting Students Ms. Nina Wormbs (Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden) and Ms. Abigail O'Sullivan (Magdalen College, University of Oxford) the opportunity to share their research with our faculty and students. HSSST graduate students Mr. Pinney and Mr. Wolters organized the students' H.O.T. lunch talk series that brought Professors Kenneth Alder (Northwestern University), Robert Brain (Harvard University), David McGee (Dibner Institute), David Sicilia (University of Maryland), John Staudenmaier (Boston College and University of Detroit Mercy) to the Institute, as well as presentations by HSSST students. We also had four presentations in December by leading candidates for the junior tenure-track position, as well as five of our HSSST students defending their theses.

Assistant Professor David Mindell organized a major conference in January on Deep Water Archeology, drawing together particularly professionals involved in the Black Sea Trade Route surveys, land and sea excavations.

The India/South Asia Forum, convened by Dr. Abha Sur, a Visiting Scholar in STS, continued for a second year with twelve talks during 1998—99. Meetings included sessions on the nuclear bomb tests in India and Pakistan, economic development, and the struggles of bi-lingual and multi-lingual education in Nepal and included Professor Indira Viswananthan Peterson (Mt. Holyoke) on "European Science in 18th Century India: the Cabinet of King Serfoji of Tanjore"; Dr. Itty Abraham (Social Science Research Council) on "Big Science in India: Nationalism and Landscape"; film maker Anand Patwardhan's (Bombay) screening and discussion of his documentary films "Fishing in the Sea of Greed" on resistance to Enron Power Plant in Maharastra, and "Occupation Millworker"; physicist and nuclear power analysts Dr. Zia Mian and Dr. M.V. Ramana (both of Princeton) on "Prisoners of the Nuclear Dream"; and Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala (Madras IIT) on "Telecom and Information Technology to Bridge the Gap between Rich and Poor Nations."


Now entering their seventeenth year, the Knight Fellowships continue to attract science journalists from around the world to MIT to learn more about the research and innovation they cover. This was the inaugural year of the new Director of the Program, Boyce Rensberger, and proved to be, by all accounts of the fellows, an extremely lively and successful year. Among the successes was the ability of Mr. Rensberger to raise new funding for intensive week-long fellowships for science topics in the news. The seventeenth class of Fellows includes Mr. David Chandler, science writer, The Boston Globe; Mr. W. Wayt Gibbs, senior writer, Scientific American; Ms. Karen Hopkin, freelance science writer; Ms. Susan Lewis, writer and producer, Nova; Mr. Ganapati Mudur, science writer, The Telegraph, Calcutta; Ms. Melissa Schorr, staff writer, The Las Vegas Sun; Mr. Andreas Schriber, producer and editor, Swiss Television DRS, Zurich; Mr. DongHo Shin, chief science reporter, The Hankyoreh, Seoul; Mr. Peter Spotts, science and technology correspondent, Christian Science Monitor; and Mr. David Talbot, reporter, The Boston Herald.

Fellows attend over 60 seminars with faculty, which are specially organized for them, as well as other seminars and workshops devoted to science and technology and their wider impacts. The Fellowships are supported by an endowment contributed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami and by alumni and foundation gifts. More information about the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships can be found at


Professor Buchwald gave a reading course and supervised two graduate students, one of whom successfully defended her dissertation. He wrote an article on experiment for a book, and co-authored an introduction to a volume on science on the European periphery. He continued to serve as a Housemaster and member of the MIT Museum Board, and undertook organization of the 2001 program for the International Union of the History of Science, to be held in Mexico City. For the Dibner Institute, he organized a symposium on Islamic Science, and a conference on the technology of warfare. He gave talks at Yale University, the National Bureau of Standards, the Seven Pines Symposium, and at the History of Science annual meeting in Kansas City. He continued as editor or co-editor of two journals and three book series, including one published by MIT Press.

Professor Dumit completed a book manuscript, Whose Brain Is This? PET Scans & Personhood in Biomedical America (submitted to Princeton University Press), and two articles ("Objective Brains, Prejudicial Images" and "When Explanations Rest"). Two more articles are accepted pending revisions. His co-edited book, Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots (Routledge, September1998), was selected one of the Top 25 Books of the Year by the Village Voice Literary Supplement. He is currently working on a book on illness-based social movements and new media technologies. Dumit won a Provost Grant to investigate social movements online in collaboration with the Media Lab using large-scale text-base parsing engines. He was elected chair of the Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing (CASTAC) of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) (3-year term); he also runs the CASTAC website and listserv. He co-organized a small conference on the Anthropology of Science at Columbia University. He won (with Professor Ronald Eglash, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) a grant to launch a new CD-ROM-based journal for the AAA, Anthropos Teknica. He is the Assistant Editor of Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry. He chaired sessions, presented papers and served as a discussant at the AAA meetings and at the Society for the Social Study of Science meetings. He presented talks at the Law, Culture and Humanities conference, Wesleyan University Science in Society series, Visiting Fellows Program and Friday Morning Seminar at the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He guest-taught classes in Harvard University Medical Sociology and Medical Anthropology Theory. He organized and taught a new subject "Brains and Culture" (undergraduate, Communication Intensive), two courses "Social Theory" (graduate) and "Information: Theory" (new graduate), and an independent study on social movements. He is a Comparative Media Studies (CMS) faculty member and is on the CMS Orientation Committee. He co-chaired a Center for Literary and Cultural Studies (Sciences and Cultures) series at Harvard, was the STS Academic Computing representative, and taught a pilot Communication Intensive class. He is a reader on five graduate student committees, an advisor to two STS undergraduates, and is on the committee of a graduate student in the Institute of Science and Technology Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam.

Professor Fischer co-taught two subjects, supervised one undergraduate thesis, chaired one completed Ph.D. dissertation committee, chairs three other dissertation committees, and served as the primary advisor for a dissertation completed this year at Rice University by a Visiting Scholar at STS, ran a reading course for three graduate students, coordinated the STS Colloquium series, took an active editorial board role in three journals [Late Editions, Public Culture, International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), served as a member of a book prize committee for the Middle East Studies Association, served as a member of the outside evaluation committee for the Humanities Department of the Zurich Polytechnic Institute (ZETH), drafted papers on STS (for a book, for Late Editions, and for the Annual Reviews in Anthropology), on film (for a volume on media and religion), on the work of a psychiatrist-artist, and participated in international conferences in Bangalore, Beirut, Berlin, and Palo Alto.

Professor Deborah Fitzgerald was on leave for the fall term. During the spring term, she taught STS.001, "Technology in American History" (HASS-D; enrollment: 60) and STS.340, "Introduction to History of Technology" (enrollment: 8). Professor Fitzgerald continues to serve as Director of Graduate Studies for the HSSST doctoral program. She served on the dissertation committee for a graduate student who successfully defended her dissertation , the general exam committee for two of our graduate students, and is dissertation advisor for two HSSST graduate students. Professor Fitzgerald is a member of MIT's Committee on Discipline and the MIT Museum, Collections Committee. In addition to writing several book reviews, "Accounting for Change: American Agriculture in the 1920's" will be forthcoming in a volume edited by Cathy Stock and Robert Johnston (Cornell University Press).

Professor Graham, on leave during 1998—99 (he taught at Harvard the spring semester), retired at the end of the academic year. During the year he continued to supervise one doctoral student (who received his degree during the year) at MIT and two at Harvard (one of whom received his degree during the year) and gave talks at MIT, Harvard, Smith College, the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and at a conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. He wrote three articles, one of them pending publication in The Mathematical Intelligencer, one of them pending publication in a volume on the history of science in St. Petersburg, and the last one under consideration in Science. He finished the administration of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, and he continued to serve on advisory committees for that foundation, as well as for the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, and served on the advisory boards of three professional societies and several journals. He was elected a member of the council of the Amerian Philosophical Society and the governing council of the Basic Research and Higher Education Initiative (a joint American-Russian board). He gave talks on Chippewa history to approximately 100 sixth graders at the Munising Mather School. He serves as a member of the board of trustees of the National Lighthouse Center and Museum in New York. He was honored by conferences in his name at Harvard and MIT this spring, and on June 29, 1999, a special meeting in his honor will be held at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia, to celebrate his donation of over 1000 books in the history of science to that university.

Associate Professor Hugh Gusterson published articles on nuclear proliferation and on the founding of NATO in Cultural Anthropology and Alternatives, and contributed to the book Security and Survival: The Case for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. He also gave papers at a conference on technology policy, a panel on nuclear waste, and a panel on American military culture and gave talks at University of California, Los Angeles, University of North Carolina, the University of Wyoming, and at Harvard. This year he taught "American Science: Political Choices and Ethical Dilemmas" for the first time.

Associate Professor Evelynn Hammonds was on leave during the spring term and was Visiting Associate Professor of the History of Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She submitted one article for publication: "Gendering the Epidemic: Feminism and the Epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States, 1981—1999," in E. Lunbeck, A. Creager, and L. Schiebinger (eds.), Science, Medicine, Technology: The Difference Feminism Has Made, University of Chicago Press, forthcoming. Professor Hammonds got a contract for a new book project: "The MIT Reader on Race and Gender in Science Studies" (MIT Press, forthcoming). She gave public talks: "The Logic of Difference: Race and Gender and 19th Century Surgery (University of Warwick, England); "The End of Race?" (National Conference on Race, Michigan State University); "Wars Against Disease: Anti-diphtheria Campaigns and the Media" (Medical Classics Program, UCLA); "The Logic of Difference: Race, Science and Medicine in the U.S." (Center for the Study of Women, UCLA); and "Historical Views on Race and Medicine (UCLA School of Public Health). Professor Hammonds continued work as a Project Consultant on "Women and Scientific Literacy: Building Two-Way Streets" funded by NSF and the American Association of Colleges.

Professor Evelyn Fox Keller taught Freshman Seminar STS.A04, "What is Life?"; STS.004, "Philosophy of Biology" (HASS-D); and STS.475, "Language, Gender, and Science." She served as thesis supervisor for two HSSST graduate students. She is a member of MIT's Faculty Administration Committee and the Women's Studies Steering Committee. She was one of the organizers of the Sloan Workshop Series on Limits to Knowledge in the History of Science, funded by the Sloan Foundation (principal investigator: Professor Buchwald), and participated in seven of the workshops. In addition to two reviews, she wrote "Making Sense of Life: Meaning of Explanation in Developmental Biology," to appear in J. Maienschein and R. Creath (eds.), Biology and Epistemology; "Marring the Pre-Modern to the Post-Modern: Computers and Organisms after WWII," Norton Wise (ed.), Growing Explanations, 1999 (in press); "Language in Action: Genes and the Metaphor of Reading," M. Sorries (ed.), Language and Science, 1999 (in press); "Sense and Syntax: Metaphors of Reading in the History of Genetics," in Bal, Mieke (ed.), The Practice of Cultural Analysis, Stanford University Press, May 1999; "Understanding Development," Biology and Philosophy, Spring 1999; "Decoding the Genetic Program," R. Falk and P. Beurton (eds.), Genes, Cambridge University Press, 1999; "Beyond the Gene but Beneath the Skin," in S. Oyama, P. Griffiths, and J. Grey (eds.), Cycles of Contingency, MIT Press (in press); "Models of and Models for: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Biology," Annual Volume of the Philosophical Society of America, 1999 (in press). Professor Keller presented papers at the American Philosophical Society, Kansas City; Conference on "Genes and Development," Basel; "Women in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine," Princeton; "What has Biology Taught Philosophy?" Boston University Cohen Forum; Keynote address, "Co-Education for the 21st Century," Wheaton College; Nancy Chair Lecture, Mt. St. Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Professor Keller also gave invited lectures at Barnard, Texas A&M, Duke University, Princeton, George Washington University, University of Chicago, and Harvard University.

Professor Kenneth Keniston directed the MIT India Program, which this year sent sixteen students on internships to five sites in India. He is a member of the National Academy of Science-Max Planck Institute Committee on Global Networks and Local Values, which met twice in Germany and twice in the United States. He traveled three times to India, where he met with MIT alumni and lectured in Bombay (MIT alumni), Jaipur (Confederation of Indian Industries), Delhi (Indo-American Chamber of Commerce) and Bangalore (National Institute for Advanced Studies). He published two articles and has two articles and an edited book (with Professor Emeritus Leo Marx and Visiting Professor Jill Conway) in press. He has been appointed Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, for the fall semester of 1999.

Professor Mindell taught "Structure, Practice, and Innovation in EE and CS," and a reading course with HSSST graduate students Mr. Wolters and Mr. Brendan Foley on "The History of Naval Technology." He supervised Mr. Foley's second year paper, was a reader for Ms. Constance Lai's Master's Thesis in Architecture, and supervised UROP projects for three undergraduates. He also served as primary advisor to three HSSST doctoral students. In addition, he served on the Mr. Wolters general exam committee; supervised and funded the work of Mr. Axel Roch (Humboldt University, Berlin) as a Visiting Scholar and Research Assistant in the STS Program during the Spring term; and supervised and funded work of five MIT students who are taking part in the Summer ‘99 deep-sea archaeology cruises off the coasts of Turkey and Israel. In addition to writing three book reviews, his book Technology, War, and Experience Aboard the USS Monitor is currently in production with Johns Hopkins University Press and is to be published fall 1999. "Automation's Finest Hour: Radar and Systems Integration in World War II," in Thomas P. Hughes and Agatha C. Hughes, eds., Systems, Experts and Computers, is forthcoming from MIT Press. "Technologies of Control and the Control of Technology," in Miriam Levin, ed., Cultures of Control in the Machine Age, Harwood Academic Publishers, forthcoming. Professor Mindell chaired the STS Siegel Prize Committee, served on MIT committees (Committee on Undergraduate Program and Committee on Graduate School Policy), was a member of the advisory conference for Engineering Systems Division, and organized the "Deep Water Archaeology Working Group." He was on leave for the spring term on an Old Dominion Fellowship where he was a Visiting Scholar at the Lemelson Center for Innovation at the Smithsonian Museum of American History; won the 1998 Abbott Payson Usher Prize awarded by the Society for the History of Technology for the best piece of scholarship published under its auspices in the past three years; and was awarded the 1999 Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization, sponsored by the MIT Sea Grant College Program, which he was forced to decline due to an administrative error. He is a Visiting Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Deep Submergence Laboratory; Adjunct Researcher for the Institute for Exploration in Mystic Connecticut; and Member of the IEEE History Committee.

Professor Riskin published three journal articles: "Rival Idioms for a Revolutionized Science and a Republican Citizenry," Isis 1998, 89: 203—232; "Poor Richard's Leyden Jar: Electricity and Economy in Franklinist France," in Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 28, Part 2: 301—336; and "The Lawyer and the Lightning Rod," which is forthcoming next month in Science in Context; and a book review, Jean-Pierre Poirier, "Lavoisier: Chemist, Biologist, Economist," in The Journal of Modern History, 70:3 (1998): 703—705. An edited and translated version of the Isis article was published last month in the French magazine La Recherche as "Chimie et révolution: le pouvoir des môts" (no. 320, May 1999, pp. 75—80). Professor Riskin has written three articles for the Italian encyclopedia of the history of science, Storia della Scienza, Vol.V, La Scienza del ‘700, which are now forthcoming. She also contributed an essay, "Duckshit and Damask," to the catalogue for Eve Andrée Laramée's recent exhibit at the List Visual Arts Center. The essay is forthcoming in Jennifer Riddell, ed., Eve Andée Laramée: A Permutational Unfolding. Professor Riskin spoke at a Sloan Foundation workshop on "The Newtonian Corpuscle" in Lewis, Wisconsin; organized a session on "Blindness and Deafness in the 18th Century" for the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies in December 1999; and had a paper accepted for the History of Science Society Meeting in November. She served on the Benjamin M. Siegel Prize Committee. She developed and taught a new Communications Intensive subject in STS entitled "The Prehistory of Computers." She also taught the introductory graduate seminar and the undergraduate survey in the history of science, and served on the Masters thesis committee for a student in Political Science. In the spring semester, she served as Undergraduate Officer for the STS Program, and in that capacity, began to look into the possibility of creating a new, full major in STS, consulting with the Dean of Students, Rosalind Williams, and the co-directors of the Office of Academic Services, Mary Callahan and Peggy Enders. As part of the project to institute a new major, she also met with the committee chaired by Professor Samuel Allen to investigate the possibility of creating a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences at MIT. In May and June 1999, Professor Riskin traveled to Germany, Switzerland and England on a National Science Foundation grant to conduct research for her project on the history of automata and ideas about automation, 1670—1830.

Professor Smith continued to head the Sloan history textbook project, "Integrating the American Past: A New Narrative History of the United States," in its final year. He taught three courses: "Graduate Research Seminar in the History of Technology"; "Social and Political Implications of Technology"; and "Graduate Research Seminar in the History of Technology." He supervised five HSSST doctoral students: Dr. Endersby and Dr. Clancey (who completed their dissertations and were awarded the Ph.D.); Mr. Gregory Galer, Mr. Pinney, and Mr. Wolters. He published two articles, "Samuel Colt, 1814—1862," in The Oxford Companion to American Military History, ed. Fred Anderson et al. (forthcoming Oxford University Press) and "New England Industry and the Federal Government," in The Economic History of New England, ed. Peter Temin (forthcoming Harvard University Press). He is Editor of The Johns Hopkins University Press, Studies in the History of Technology (two books published in 1998—99). He serves on the MIT Museum Advisory Board, STS Graduate Admissions Committee, STS Program Faculty Search Committee, and was a guest speaker this spring in a class on early American history. He received the Outstanding Liberal Arts Alumni Award from the Pennsylvania State University in March. He delivered the Keynote address, "Our World in 1924," at the 175th Anniversary Celebration, Founders Day, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in November. In addition to presenting a paper at the New England Economic History Museum Conference ("If All the World Was Massachusetts") and acting as Session Chair at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology ("Maintaining/Constructing Culture"), he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hagley Museum and Library; Board of Overseers of the American Museum of Textile History; At-Large Trustee, The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection at Brown University; and the National Advisory Board for the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at Rutgers University.

Professor Sherry Turkle published five chapters in books and one journal article, and she was profiled in the Boston Globe (2/11/99). She delivered fifteen invited lectures or conference papers, including keynote addresses at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication Conference ("Technological Visions: Utopian and Dystopian Perspectives"), the Center for Media Education (a public interest non-profit based in Washington D.C.); and the IFIP/IEEE (International Federation for Information Processing/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Sixth International Symposium on Integrated Network Management. She also gave lectures at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian (in connection with the Library of Congress exhibition on Freud), the Council for Technology and the Individual 10th Anniversary Roundtable, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. In 1998 she was appointed co-chair of the American Association of University Women's Commission on Technology, Gender, and Teacher Education and became a member of Harvard College's Visiting Committee on Information Technology in 1999. During the fall semester,1998, Professor Turkle served as Acting Director of Graduate Studies in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society. She co-taught "Systems and the Self" in the Media Lab, supervised student projects, and served as a primary advisor or dissertation committee member for four students.


STS hopes to fill a junior tenure-track position. A search will be run during 1999—00 open to all fields. The search process is designed to consciously and proactively pursue affirmative action to diversify our faculty. The task of reviewing the graduate program basic courses in the wake of initiatives begun during 1996—97 and 1997—98 will continue during 1999—00. We have also begun a serious review of the undergraduate offerings, and will continue to put into place a more coherent set and diverse range of subjects. We will also continue our efforts to teach and interact with units across the Institute.

More information about the STS Program can be found on the World Wide Web at

Michael Fischer

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99