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Stevens Institute of Technology


  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Cantankerous Historian of Science Questions Whether Science Can Achieve “Truth”

    One of the best things about teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, which I joined in 2005, is shooting the shit with distinguished historian of science James E. McClellan III. Jim has authored, co-authored or edited half a dozen books, including Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction, which he wrote with our late Stevens colleague Harold Dorn. The book, which won an award from the World History Association, serves as my textbook when I teach “History of Science and Technology.” Every time I read the book I learn something new, which perhaps means that I never read it carefully enough. Just kidding. I’ve learned more about the history of science from Jim than I like to admit....Horgan: To what extent can we learn about the emergence of modern science by focusing on pre-revolutionary France?

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    Historian invites former students to dinner as part of ‘retirement odyssey’

    Silvio Laccetti was cleaning out his office after 43 years of teaching at the Stevens Institute of Technology, a science and technology school in Hoboken, New Jersey, when he stumbled across a pile of unreturned reports, assignments and examinations from some of the thousands of students he had taught over the years.It gave him an idea: invite some of his best former students for dinner. Not all at once, however: one at a time.What Dr Laccetti, who taught history, called his “retirement odyssey” involved 83 dinners and lunches consumed over three and a half years with 104 of his one-time students, mostly individually but a few in small groups.He spoke by phone with another dozen who lived too far away to meet in person.The odyssey gave him an opportunity academics seldom get: to measure his impact on the world.“They had listened to my advice,” Dr Laccetti, 72, said. “They maintained an interest in the humanities. They even talked about me to their kids, and taught their children some of the things that I taught them.”...

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