The Endowed Chair for History of the Effects of Technology at the University of Stuttgart focuses on the historical reasons and consequences of technical change.

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The diverse interactions between science, technology, society, and culture raise urgent questions about the conditions and consequences of technical change. Research concerning this subject lies at the core of the chair “History of the Effects of Technology” situated at the University of Stuttgart. The chair is endowed by the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung with 1.5 million euros over a period of ten years (a commitment that started in 2011).

In the winter term 2011/12, the ideal person for the chair was found: historian for the history of technology, Prof. Dr. Reinhold Bauer. Bauer has become well known beyond professional experts through his book on innovative failures and technological change (“Gescheiterte Innovationen und technologischer Wandel”). His area of research currently focuses on historical innovation research, traffic history, as well as on social and economic history of the German Democratic Republic. The chair at the Institute for History of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Stuttgart aims to collaborate with all university faculties. The lectures are to enrich the Master of “Wissenskulturen” and the interdisciplinary knowledge. In the field of natural sciences as well as engineering, the new chair offers lectures in which interdisciplinary knowledge is mediated for multidisciplinary issues.

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Technology is a Part of Nature

"This chair aims to research the reasons and consequences of technological change in its historical context as well as the interdependency of natural sciences, technology, society, and culture in an attempt to help find answers to pestering questions. Technology is a part of our culture; it embosses as well as alters culture and is sometimes being underrated in its role as a shaping force."

Prof. Dr. Berthold Leibinger