Is technology really too fast for society?

Mar 15, 2013

We often hear that technology is advancing so fast that society cannot keep up. But in reality, social change is intimately linked to technology changes, and that expectations of what technology can bring changes in intensity.

This quote comes from the historian of ideas, Martin Hultman, who in a widely publicized research project together with his colleague Christer Nordlund, from Umeå Studies in Science, Technology and Environment (USSTE), is studying these parcels in intensity regarding .

With a broad experience in intellectual history, cultural studies and interdisciplinary environmental research, they examine the actors, ideas and venues where an expectation for fuel cells and hydrogen is created. Based on Hultman's dissertation, they analyse how the managers, engineers, politicians and journalists created great expectations for fuel cells and hydrogen around the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Hultman and Nordlund have now published their findings in the prestigious journal History and Technology.

The article explains how car shows, media and forecasting have great influence in the construction of both the future as the present. The authors introduce the concept of an ecomodern utopia to interpret the expectations of today's technology that will provide solutions to , while do not need to be changed.

The publication is a result of Umeå University's commitment to environmental humanities. Environmental humanities will also be a topic at the International Conference on and Technology Days, held at Umeå University during 20 to 22 March, 2013.

Explore further: US appeals court OKs evidence from no-warrant GPS

More information: Hultman, Martin; Nordlund, Christer: Energizing technology: expectations of fuel cells and the hydrogen economy, 1990–2005. History and Technology. 11 March. 2013, doi: 10.1080/07341512.2013.778145 , http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07341512.2013.778145

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why rebel groups attack civilians

May 29, 2008

In civil war, rebel groups often target civilians despite the fact that their actual target is the government and that they are often dependent on the support of the civilian groups they attack. This may seem illogical, but ...

Recommended for you

California bans paparazzi drones

21 hours ago

California on Tuesday approved a law which will prevent paparazzi from using drones to take photos of celebrities, among a series of measures aimed at tightening protection of privacy.

Remote healthcare for an aging population

Sep 30, 2014

An aging population and an increased incidence of debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease means there is pressure on technology to offer assistance with healthcare - monitoring and treatment. Research ...

User comments : 0