External Relations Director
Steve Carson is external relations director for MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu). His responsibilities include sustainability initiatives; strategic partnerships with other organizations; MIT OpenCourseWare's support of OpenCourseWare projects at other institutions; special projects in priority areas; and project evaluation.
Steve also served as the first president of the OpenCourseWare Consortium from 2008 to 2011, where he oversaw the incorporation of the organization as an independent nonprofit, secured funding to support its operation, and helped grow membership to include more than 250 universities globally. He currently serves on the organization's Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the MIT OpenCourseWare team, Steve served as associate director of Emerson College's Division of Continuing Education in Boston, where – in addition to managing core academic activities of the division – he developed and taught Emerson's first asynchronous, Web-based distance learning course. Steve earned his MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and taught creative and expository writing there for five years.
University of Virginia
Dr. Carlson is a professor at the University of Virginia (UVA), with appointments in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society (School of Engineering and Applied Science) and the History Department (College of Arts and Sciences).
He coordinates the Engineering Business Minor at UVA and teaches a course on “Engineers as Entrepreneurs.” He is an expert on the role of innovation in American history, specifically on how inventors, engineers, and managers used technology between 1875 and 1925 to create new systems and enterprises. His publications include Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 1991; paper 2002), as well as Technology in World History, 7 volumes (Oxford University Press, 2005). In 2008, Technology in World History was awarded the Sally Hacker Prize by the Society for the History of Technology. With support from the Sloan Foundation, he has completed a biography of the inventor Nikola Tesla, which will appear in 2012.
Carlson has served on the board of trustees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and is currently serving as the executive secretary for the Society for the History of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and did postdoctoral work in business history at the Harvard Business School.