Conferences galore! The history of computing thrives…

It has been a busy month of conferences and speaking engagements.   Forgive the lack of recent updates.

The Commission for the History and Philosophy of Computing hosted the second in a series of HAPOC conferences in Paris this year.   This was an extraordinarily full and productive conference, with speakers and participants from all over Europe, the UK, and the United States.   My contribution was a talk on “the multiple meanings of flowcharts.”

The Society for the History of Technology conference in Portland, Maine, featured many papers in computing related issues.  The Special Interest Group on Computing and Information Science (SIGCIS) hosted a day of talks devoted entirely to the history of computing.  My SHOT talk was devoted to exploring what I am calling “the environmental history of computing.”

At the National Academy of the Sciences, I helped celebrate the 150th anniversary of the NAS by participating in the annual Sackler Colloquium.   I talked about the history of NAS sponsorship of computing and information, and facilitated a panel with David Farber, the “grandfather of the Internet” and Robert Kahn, the co-inventor of TCP/IP and one of the “fathers of the Internet.”  Videos of the conference talks can be found on Youtube.

Finally, I attended for the first time the annual conference of the Association for Internet Researchers in Denver, Colorado.  Our panel was organized around the idea of revisiting some of the canonical works in our respective disciplines (history, anthropology, communications) in light of changes in information technology.   I spoke about Bruno Latour, the biological sciences, and the classic text Laboratory Life.




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