Doan Postdoctoral Fellow
- E-mail: avoskuhl-at-chemheritage-dot-org
- Phone: 215.873.8246
- Fax: 215.279.5246
Heidi Voskuhl is an associate professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University, where she teaches and researches the history of technology from the early modern to the modern period. She received her Ph.D. in science and technology studies from Cornell University as well as a graduate degree in physics and in history and philosophy of science from Oldenburg University (Germany) and Cambridge University (U.K.). Her work has been supported by the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Her other interests include the philosophy of technology, intellectual history, and theories of literature and culture. At Harvard she also serves on the Degree Committee on Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Heidi Voskuhl’s work at the Chemical Heritage Foundation is concerned with the earliest sustained debates about the “consequences” of technology in society, carried out among and between engineers in Germany and the United States in the period around World War I. Engineers raised questions about the relationship between industrialism and the state, technocracy and democracy, and global technological and diplomatic rivalries—but also about their own social status and ethical obligations as a novel expert group in the fast-growing industrial world. Working through a range of social and technical challenges, German and American engineers turned to each other and traded ideas, artifacts, skills, and financial and ideological support across the Atlantic. Their discussions represent the earliest moments of engineers’ active political participation, and they are a prototype of later debates about the abstract, and often hazy, idea of the “impact” of modern technology on social orders.