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Centaur 2, a mobile base for Robonaut 2, is put through its paces in the Arizona desert during the September 2010 Desert RATS, or Research and Technology Studies, field test. The Robonaut 2 torso could be attached to Centaur to allow the dexterous humanoid robot to explore the surfaces of distant planets in the future.

Public Domain/NASA

Seminar - Open to the Public

When Knowledge Became Power: Technology, the United States, and Hegemony in the Twentieth Century

Thu., May 11, 2023 | 12:15pm - 2:00pm


Speaker: Michael Falcone, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program

This presentation will examine how today's model of superpowers as science-powers stemmed from highly contingent historical processes — a whole paradigm of global competition that emerged from a specific set of transatlantic personal networks and rivalries in the 1940s. It will also explore how the United States built its high-tech identity by siphoning other countries' intellectual property and state-science models, much as it charges China with doing today. Finally, it will deconstruct what scholars and policymakers alike really refer to when use the fuzzy concepts of nations being "ahead" or "behind" their technological rivals.

Everyone is welcome to join us online via Zoom! Please register in advance for this seminar: