A History of Technoscience : Erasing the Boundaries between Science and Technology book cover
1st Edition

A History of Technoscience
Erasing the Boundaries between Science and Technology

ISBN 9780367348526
Published May 7, 2019 by Routledge
296 Pages

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Book Description

Are science and technology independent of one another? Is technology dependent upon science, and if so, how is it dependent? Is science dependent upon technology, and if so how is it dependent? Or, are science and technology becoming so interdependent that the line dividing them has become totally erased? This book charts the history of technoscience from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century and shows how the military–industrial–academic complex and big science combined to create new examples of technoscience in such areas as the nuclear arms race, the space race, the digital age, and the new worlds of nanotechnology and biotechnology.

Table of Contents


1. Relationships between Science and Technology


Technology as Dependent upon Science

Science and Technology as Independent

Science as Dependent upon Technology

Science and Technology as Interdependent

Erasing the Boundaries between Science and Technology


Part I: The Roots of Technoscience

2. From Science-Based Industry to Industry-Based Science

Chemical-Based Industries

Organic Chemical Industries – Synthetic Dyes, Pharmaceuticals and Plastics

Heavy Chemical Industries – Alkalis, Acids and Explosives

Electrical Industrial Research Laboratories – Electric Lighting

Electrical Industrial Research Laboratories – Telephone and Radio


3. Setting the Stage for the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex: World War I

The Military Build-Up to World War I

World War I

Chemical Warfare – Explosives

Chemical Warfare – Gas


Naval Warfare

Aerial Warfare


4. Setting the Stage for Big Science: The Interwar Period

Chemical Research and Development

Aviation Research and Development

Rocket Research and Development

Atomic and Nuclear Research



5. The Emergence of the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex and Big Science:

World War II

Uranium Research

The Military-Industrial-Academic Complex

Radar and Sonar

Chemical and Medical Research

Military Computers

The Atomic Bomb -- Big Science


Part II: The Era of Technoscience

6. The Nuclear Arms Race

The H-Bomb

Nuclear Reactors

High Energy Physics


7. The Space Program

The Missile Race

The Space Race

The Moon Race


Planetary Science



8. Electronics

General Purpose Computers

The Transistor

The Integrated Circuit

Computer Science


9. Material Science






10. Biotechnology


The Double Helix

The Genetic Code

Genetic Engineering

The Human Genome Project



11. The New World of Technoscience

Works Cited

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David F. Channell is Professor of Historical Studies and the History of Ideas at the University of Texas at Dallas.


What is the connection between science and technology? Do technological advances spring from new discoveries in science (the view traditionally held by many), or could it be argued that the opposite occurs—that scientific discoveries depend on advances in technology? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between: science and technology are inexorably intertwined, belonging to a single discipline we might refer to as “technoscience. The relationship between science and technology is masterfully outlined in this work. Channell (Univ. of Texas, Dallas) surveys the literature for various interpretations of the connection between science and technology, while tracing these connections from the so-called Second Industrial Revolution in the 19th century through the relationship between science and technology during the two world wars, and culminating with a study of technoscience in the latter half of the 20th century as manifested in the fields of electronics, material sciences, and biotechnology. In sum, the book represents an important contribution to the fields of science and technology studies, while proposing new frameworks (and questions) for future historians - T. Timmons, University of Arkansas--Fort Smith, CHOICE Magazine