Welcome to Science and Technology in the Making
The Internet is becoming an ever more important resource for scholars and students. Although many faculty members make increasing use of the World Wide Web for teaching, it is less frequently used for primary research. Science and Technology in the Making (STIM), a project supported by a two-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, experiments with exactly that: historical research over the Internet. The participating primary investigators from Stanford, University of California at Los Angeles, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, and University of California at Berkeley are interested in finding out if, and to what degree, Web-mediated scholarship is possible. Tim Lenoir, Professor of History at Stanford, organized the original grant. Lenoir understood the importance of using Web technologies in the project, and also felt that the project should reside in the Stanford Libraries organization (SUL/AIR) to ensure both its longevity and its usefulness to future researchers. SUL/AIR provides project coordination, and editorial and technical support for all five participants.
STIM uses the Web and network technology to develop innovative approaches for investigating and documenting recents events in science and technology, such as the history of human/computer interaction and the failure of technology (such as in the New York blackouts in the '60s and '70s). The main goal of the five STIM projects and their associated Web sites is to use the interactive capabilities of the Internet to gather survey information and personal histories, encourage dialogue among the makers of history, and provide an (inter-) active archive in which focus groups are invited to contribute material. The "In the Making" part of STIM's title is a result of the fact that major players in STIM projects are still alive and serving as active creators and participants. Their contributions in the form of stories, artifacts, and written accounts are part of the history presented on the Web sites. According to Lenoir, this leads historians "to multiply the perspectives of contemporary history and engage the community who made the technology in a collaboration to write their own history." Thus, the traditionally silent subjects of a historical study become personally involved in the writing of their community's history.
Copyright and Use Statement
Unless otherwise specified, the copyright for the content on this homepage is held by Stanford University. Copying is permitted for noncommercial use by computerized bulletin board/conference systems, individual scholars, and libraries. Express written permission is required for any commercial use of the content of this homepage.
The final reports for each of the five projects can be accessed online at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/sloanconference/FinalReports.html. There is also a final report movie created in Macromedia's Director at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/sloanconference/STIMINTRO.html. It can be viewed with the cross platform, free downloadable Shockwave player.
Or the compressed Macromedia Director projector version may be downloaded for the (Macintosh) (6.2 MB). It is self-extracting and may be expanded simply by double clicking the projector file to launch it. (PC version coming soon)