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Carlson W. Bernard

W. Bernard Carlson
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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.


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