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Establishment of the Elting Morison Professorship in Humanities has been announced by Professor Philip S. Khoury, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science.
Professor Morison, a distinguished historian of science and technology, was a member of the MIT faculty for 35 years and a holder of the Killian Professorship. "Throughout his life he worked to integrate the humanities with the study of technology and his work on technological change in America remains widely read by historians of technology," Dean Khoury said. Professor Morison died in April 1995 at the age of 85.
Announcement of the professorship was made at a symposium commemorating Professor Morison's contributions in December. Professor Morison's widow, Elizabeth Forbes Morison, and his brother John attended the symposium which presented papers by scholars of science and technology.
In the 1970s Professor Morison was instrumental in the conception and planning of the Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS). This interdisciplinary program brings together scientists, engineers, historians and social scientists who study scientific and technological change from diverse perspectives.
Professor Morison was the author of seminal works such as as Men, Machines and Modern Times, and From Know-How to Nowhere: The Development of American Technology.
"Professor Morison thought of technology as `rebellion against tedium, against inefficiency from on high and against the artificial limitations placed by the social structure,'" Dean Khoury said. "The new professorship will preserve his contributions to the humanities and to MIT."