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Engineering the War on Terrorism: The 9/11-effect on engineering research, 1989-2013
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science. (Digital resources and services)
2014 (English)Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Some research has argued that recent history can be partly characterized by an ongoing switch within technology from the innovations of a military-industrial-academic complex centered on the Cold War threat of nuclear annihilation to a homeland security-industrial-academic complex shaped by perceived needs to develop new technologies to combat a new existential threat from terrorist attacks (Mike Davis 2001). In line with this the proposed study is a beginning towards a history of technology of the 21st century ‘War on Terrorism’ through a study of how terrorism has shaped technology in the form of engineering research. In this the paper builds upon and extends research within history of technology that since the 1990s has devoted an increasing interest to the effect of the Cold War on engineering research and technological development. Some stellar examples are Donald MacKenzie’s Inventing Accuracy (1990), Stuart Leslie’s The Cold War and American Science (1993), Gabrielle Hecht’s The Radiance of France (1998) and Janet Abbate’s Inventing the Internet (1999). As a start towards such a contemporary history of technology of terrorism we will provide quantitative estimates and qualitative examples of how research in the engineering sciences during 1989-2013 have shifted towards increasingly addressing issues related to terrorism. In this we continue and extend previous research (Fridlund & Nelhans 2011; Moreno 2012) that demonstrated the existence of a ‘9/11-effect’ on research through more in-depth detailed and qualitative historical research going beyond our previous primarily quantitative study. Our study use two distinct sets of material. The first pertains to engineering research in the form of a bibliometric study of published scientific articles identified in Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index between the years 1989 and 2013 of about almost 2.000 items within the research area of ‘Engineering’ having the term *terroris* within its title, abstract or author generated keywords. These publications will be bibliometrically mapped according to topical properties, (bibliographic coupling at the journal level) where papers citing similar sources will be clustered more closely together in the visualization, thus suggesting papers having more in common than other papers citing different literatures, that are not found close to the cluster. The resulting visualizations will be investigated both quantitatively and qualitatively, where key publications identified in a specific cluster in the visualization will be selected for close readings to elucidate the qualitative historical effects of the 9/11-effect on engineering research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
library and information science (LIS)
Keyword [sv]
teknikhistoria, vetenskapsteori, Bibliometri, Teknikhistoria, Vetenskapsstudier
National Category
Information Studies Other Humanities
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-7270Local ID: 2320/14453OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-7270DiVA: diva2:887982
Conference
Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Dearmorn, Michigan. 6-9 November 2014
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2016-10-07Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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