The history of science and technology (HST) is a field of history which examines how humankind's understanding of the natural world has changed over the millenia, and how this understanding has allowed us to generate technologies which have modified that world. Discoveries such as those of natural selection, the structure of genes and DNA, and within psychology have radically altered how we humans see ourselves, often conflicting with religious views. New technologies let us visit other planets, travel faster than sound, and kill each other with greater efficiency.
HST aims to understand how science and technology progress and how we form theories by studying the lessons of the past, while also exploring the socio-political and cultural mileau within which scientists and technologists work.
Note: Charles Darwin is mentioned below because he played an important role in history, not because he studied the history of science and technology. How can we make this distinction clear?
- Household technology
- Communications (TV, radio)
- Kranzbergs 5th Law of Technology
- History of the Petroleum Industry
- Should this perhaps be chronological?
- Household technology
Society for the History of Technology Classification
From Technology and Culture, "Current Bibliography in the History of Technology, 1996-1997"
- 20th Century and works covering more than one chronological division
- Prehistory, antiquity, and traditional societies
- Middle Ages
- Renaissance through 17th century
- 18th and 19th centuries
Classifications (these are repeated within each chronological division)
- General and Collected works
- Historiography and Documentation
- Technical societies, technical education
- Economic, political, and social history
- General relationships between technology and culture; philosophy of technology
- Civil engineering
- Architecture and building construction
- Bridges, harbors, tunnels, dams
- Surveying, instruments and maps, cartography, urban engineering, water supply and sewerage
- Air and space
- Energy conversion
- Materials and processing
- Metals: mining, processing, metallurgy
- Chemical industries, oil and gas, coal, rubber, plastics
- Ceramics, glass, cement, stone, salt
- Paper, lumber, textiles, leather, bone
- Electronics; mechanical and electro-mechanical technology
- Computing technology: History of computers
- Communication and records
- Agricultural and food technology
- Industrial organization and labor
- Military technology
- Industrial archaeology
What are our priorities for writing in this area? To help develop a list of the most basic topics in History of Science and Technology, please see History of Science and Technology basic topics.