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Paperback | ISBN: 9780262521376 | 424 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1989

"“University Presses in Space” showcases a special sampling of the many works that university presses have published about space and space exploration."

Instructor Resources

The Social Construction of Technological Systems

New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology


The impact of technology on society is clear and unmistakable. The influence of society on technology is more subtle. The 13 essays in this book draw on a wide array of case studies from cooking stoves to missile systems, from 15th­century Portugal to today's AI labs - to outline an original research program based on a synthesis of ideas from the social studies of science and the history of technology. Together they affirm the need for a study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions.

About the Editors

Wiebe E. Bijker is Professor of Technology and Society at the University of Maastricht. He is the author of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (MIT Press, 1997) and other books.

Thomas P. Hughes is Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Trevor Pinch is Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. He is the coeditor of How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology (MIT Press, 2003) and the coauthor of Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer and other books.


"... required reading for STS teachers and researchers - and, indeed, for anyone convinced that it is essential, in the modern world, to understand the social nature of technical innovation."
David Edge, Director, Science Studies Unit, University of Edinburgh