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NAE Regional Meeting

Montgomery County Planning Commission

Anticipating the Future: Historical Narratives, Imagination, and Innovation

June 1, 2018

The Science History Institute partnered with the National Academy of Engineering to present “Anticipating the Future: Historical Narratives, Imagination, and Innovation.” This program offered an in-depth look at how the Institute chooses research projects, the methods in which we undertake the projects, and how we hope our projects will be used to educate and foster dialogue amongst communities—not just academics and professionals, but civic activists, committee members, and neighborhood associations. Our research allows us to imagine our future in an innovative manner: understanding how the past came to influence our present and how we are shaping our present to impact the future.

“Anticipating the Future: Historical Narratives, Imagination, and Innovation” explored tools and methods drawn from history that can help us generate more-inclusive conversations about technologies of today and tomorrow. While new and emerging innovations in science and technology often appear to present unique and novel social, ethical, and political challenges, many of these challenges have historical precedents. Here we identified avenues for engagement and reflection that can enable discussion, deliberation, and decision making between those inside and outside the lab.

Program Highlights

Robert G. W. Anderson, President and CEO, Science History Institute
Dr. C. D. Mote Jr., President, National Academy of Engineering

California Dreaming—Technologies, Imagination, and Place in the Making of Scientific California
Roger Turner, Research Fellow, Science History Institute

Technical Problems as Social Problems—Industrial Legacy and Communities in the Future
Britt Dahlberg, Director, Center for Applied History, Science History Institute

Humanities-Engineering Collaborations in Pursuit of Cleaner Air
Nicholas Shapiro, Research Fellow, Science History Institute

Closing Remarks—Anticipating the Future by Imagining and Building It
Jody A. Roberts, Director, Institute for Research, Science History Institute