Thomas Parke Hughes

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

  • The Social Construction of Technological Systems, Anniversary Edition

    The Social Construction of Technological Systems, Anniversary Edition

    New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology

    Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes, and Trevor Pinch

    An anniversary edition of an influential book that introduced a groundbreaking approach to the study of science, technology, and society.

    This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry—social construction of technology, or SCOT—that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume—collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.

    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Systems, Experts, and Computers

    Systems, Experts, and Computers

    The Systems Approach in Management and Engineering, World War II and After

    Agatha C. Hughes and Thomas Parke Hughes

    This groundbreaking book charts the origins and spread of the systems movement.

    After World War II, a systems approach to solving complex problems and managing complex systems came into vogue among engineers, scientists, and managers, fostered in part by the diffusion of digital computing power. Enthusiasm for the approach peaked during the Johnson administration, when it was applied to everything from military command and control systems to poverty in American cities. Although its failure in the social sphere, coupled with increasing skepticism about the role of technology and "experts" in American society, led to a retrenchment, systems methods are still part of modern managerial practice.

    This groundbreaking book charts the origins and spread of the systems movement. It describes the major players including RAND, MITRE, Ramo-Wooldrige (later TRW), and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis—and examines applications in a wide variety of military, government, civil, and engineering settings. The book is international in scope, describing the spread of systems thinking in France and Sweden. The story it tells helps to explain engineering thought and managerial practice during the last sixty years.

    • Hardcover $14.75 £11.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • The Social Construction of Technological Systems

    The Social Construction of Technological Systems

    New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology

    Wiebe E. Bijker, Thomas Parke Hughes, and Trevor Pinch

    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.

    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.

    • Hardcover $42.50
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00
  • Lives of the Engineers

    Selections from Samuel Smiles

    Samuel Smiles and Thomas Parke Hughes

    The original edition of this work, first printer as two volumes in 1861, has long been out of print and is now a collector's item. Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was a popular writer of “edifying” books, in the Victorian sense, whose best-known work, Self-Help (published in 1859), had sold almost a quarter of a million copies by 1900. As a British counterpart of the writers of American “success literature” of the Victorian age, his writing passed largely out of fashion after 1910, and the Smiles ethics became synonymous with the pejorative use of “Victorianism.” Smiles, however, also wrote substantial biographies for those who aspired to achieve, and thought these Lives he provided an account and a philosophy. He also provided a context making the Lives he provided an count and a philosophy of an individual achievement, He also provided a context making the Lives a contribution to the social history of technology.

    This fully annotated edition of the Lives of Engineers, is a firm the first edition published by John Murray of London, and illustrated with a number, of contemporary full-page portraits and many engravings throughout the text. The editor was written an introduction and also a bibliography.

    • Hardcover $30.00

Contributor

  • Technology in America, Third Edition

    Technology in America, Third Edition

    A History of Individuals and Ideas

    Carroll Pursell

    The new edition of a popular collection that traces the history of American invention from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley.

    This volume traces the history of American technology—its inventions and inventors—from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley. The focus on inventors acknowledges that technology is a fundamental form of human behavior and that, ultimately, it is people who have the ideas, design the machines, and build the institutions. These accessible and succinct essays chronicle the work of the famous—among them, Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney, and Thomas Alva Edison—and of the sometimes forgotten—including Ellen Swallow Richards, the founder of the home economics movement. One illuminating essay shows how Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin helped Americans confront the modern technological age.This third edition retains the content of the first two editions and adds three new essays: on Rachel Carson and the rise of the environmental movement; on A. C. Gilbert and the development of an American toy industry; and on Lewis Latimer and the struggle of African Americans to gain recognition as professional inventors and engineers.

    Contributors Lawrence Badash, George Basalla, Robert V. Bruce, Jean Christie, Gail Cooper, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, James J. Flink, Barton C. Hacker, Samuel P. Hays, Brooke Hindle, Thomas Parke Hughes, Reese V. Jenkins, John A. Kouwenhoven, Edwin T. Layton Jr., W. David Lewis, Hugo A. Meier, Carroll Pursell, Adam Rome, Bruce Sinclair, Merritt Roe Smith, Darwin H. Stapleton, John William Ward, James C. Williams

    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Technology and Society

    Technology and Society

    Building our Sociotechnical Future

    Deborah G. Johnson and Jameson M. Wetmore

    An anthology of writings by thinkers ranging from Freeman Dyson to Bruno Latour that focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values and how these may affect the future.

    Technological change does not happen in a vacuum; decisions about which technologies to develop, fund, market, and use engage ideas about values as well as calculations of costs and benefits. This anthology focuses on the interconnections of technology, society, and values. It offers writings by authorities as varied as Freeman Dyson, Laurence Lessig, Bruno Latour, and Judy Wajcman that will introduce readers to recent thinking about technology and provide them with conceptual tools, a theoretical framework, and knowledge to help understand how technology shapes society and how society shapes technology. It offers readers a new perspective on such current issues as globalization, the balance between security and privacy, environmental justice, and poverty in the developing world. The careful ordering of the selections and the editors' introductions give Technology and Society a coherence and flow that is unusual in anthologies. The book is suitable for use in undergraduate courses in STS and other disciplines. The selections begin with predictions of the future that range from forecasts of technological utopia to cautionary tales. These are followed by writings that explore the complexity of sociotechnical systems, presenting a picture of how technology and society work in step, shaping and being shaped by one another. Finally, the book goes back to considerations of the future, discussing twenty-first-century challenges that include nanotechnology, the role of citizens in technological decisions, and the technologies of human enhancement.

    • Hardcover $17.75 £14.99
    • Paperback $60.00 £50.00