Society for the History of Technology

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Society for the History of Technology
File:Logo of the Society for the History of Technology.png
SHOT logo
Formation 1958

The Society for the History of Technology, or SHOT, is the primary professional society for historians of technology. SHOT was founded in 1958 in the United States, and it has since become an international society with members "from some thirty-five countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa."[1] SHOT owes its existence largely to the efforts of Professor Melvin Kranzberg (1917-1995). A co-founder and its eleventh president was Eugene S. Ferguson. SHOT's flagship publication is the journal Technology and Culture, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Kranzberg served as editor of Technology and Culture until 1981, and was succeeded as editor by Robert C. Post until 1995, and John M. Staudenmaier from 1996 until 2010. The current editor of Technology and Culture is Suzanne Moon at the University of Oklahoma. SHOT is an affiliate of the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Historical Association and publishes a joint booklet series with the AHA, "Historical Perspectives on Technology, Society, and Culture," under the co-editorship of Pamela O. Long, Robert C. Post and Asif Azam Siddiqi.[2] Pamela O. Long is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" for 2014.[3]

The history of technology was traditionally linked to economic history and history of science, but its interactions are now equally strong with environmental history, gender history, business history, and labor history. SHOT annually awards two book prizes, the Edelstein Prize and the Hacker Prize, as well as the Kranzberg Dissertation Fellowship and the Brooke Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship. Its highest award is the Leonardo da Vinci Medal. Recipients of the medal include Kranzberg, Ferguson, Post, Staudenmaier, Bart Hacker, and Brooke Hindle. In 1968 Kranzberg was also instrumental in the founding of a sister society, the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) in 1968. The two societies complement each other.

The Society for the History of Technology is dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economic, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts. The society now numbers around 1500 members, and holds its meeting at a non-North-American venue every third year. SHOT also sponsors smaller conferences focused on specialized topics, often jointly with other scholarly societies and organizations.

Special Interest Groups

  • The Albatrosses (technology of flight)
  • SIGCIS: Computers, Information and Society
  • EDITH: Exploring Diversity in Technology's History
  • Envirotech (technology and the natural environment)
  • The Jovians (electrical technology)
  • The Lynn White Junior Society: Prior to the "Industrial Revolution"
  • The Mercurians (communications technology)
  • SMiTInG (military technology)
  • The Pelicans
  • The Prometheans (engineering)
  • SHOT Asia Network
  • TEMSIG: Technology Museums Special Interest Group
  • WITH: Women in Technological History

Annual Meetings

  • 2006 − Las Vegas, NV − October 12–14
  • 2007 − Washington, D.C. − October 17–21
  • 2008 − Lisbon, Portugal − October 11–14
  • 2009 − Pittsburgh, PA − October 15–19
  • 2010 − Tacoma, WA − September 29 - October 4
  • 2011 − Cleveland, OH − November 2–6
  • 2012 − Copenhagen, Denmark − October 4–7
  • 2013 − Portland, ME - October 10–13
  • 2014 − Dearborn, MI - November 6–9
  • 2015 − Albuquerque, NM - October 7–11
  • 2016 − Singapore - June 22–26


  1. "Home," Society for the History of Technology (SHOT),
  2. "Historical Perspectives," Society for the History of Technology (SHOT),
  3. Felicia R. Lee, "MacArthur Awards Go to 21 Diverse Fellows," New York Times, September 17, 2014,
  • David A. Hounshell, "Eugene S. Ferguson, 1916-2004," Technology and Culture 45 (2004): 911-21. DOI
  • Robert C. Post, "Back at the Start: History and the History of Technology," Technology and Culture 51 (2010): 961-94. Muse
  • Robert C. Post, "Chance and Contingency: Putting Mel Kranzberg in Context," Technology and Culture 50 (2009): 839-72. DOI
  • Robert C. Post, "'A Very Special Relationship': SHOT and the Smithsonian's Museum of History and Technology," Technology and Culture 42 (2001): 401-35. DOI

External links