Engineering the Future, Understanding the Past discusses the role of engineering in our age of grand challenges - by drawing lessons from the past. Since the birth of modern engineering roughly two centuries ago, technology has helped to reshape our modern world. At the same time, social challenges have shaped engineering science and practice. This book examines why and how engineers have engaged in solving social challenges -challenges for society, for business, and for users. It also asks why some technological solutions have unexpectedly created new problems. And it studies how engineers have coped with technology’s puzzling ability to both help and harm.
This book was written as a history-of- technology textbook for engineering students. It has been thoroughly edited to make it easily accessible. The book builds extensively on Tensions of Europe research, and contributes to the new ToE research agenda Technology & Societal Challenges.
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