W. Bernard Carlson
Joseph L. Vaughan Professor of Humanities (1986)
Chair, Department of Engineering and Society
Director, Engineering Business Programs
Office Hours: Thurs. 12:30-2:00
Office: A220 Thornton Hall
Phone: (434) 924-6113
Email: wc4p (at) virginia.edu
Fields & SpecialtiesHistory of Technology; American Business History; Entrepreneurship; Social and Cognitive Theories of Innovation
A.B. Holy Cross College 1977
M.A. Univ. of Pennsylvania 1981
Ph.D. Univ. of Pennsylvania 1984
- Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013). Spanish, Serbian, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean, and Chinese editions.
- Technology in World History. 7 volumes. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). General editor and author of 7 chapters. Korean edition, 2009.
- Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870-1900. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991). Paperback Edition, 2002.
- Understanding Inventions that Changed the World, a series of 36 lectures on DVD (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2013).
- The Nature of Power: Synthesizing the History of Technology and Environmental History." Technology and Culture 52:246-59 (April 2011). With Edmund P. Russell, James Allison, Thomas Finger, John K. Brown, and Brian Balogh.
- "Revolution or Evolution? The Role of Knowledge and Organization in the Establishment and Growth of R&D at Corning,” Management and Organizational History, Vol 4(1): 37–65 (2009). With Stuart K. Sammis.
- “Diversity and Progress: How Might We Picture Technology across Global Cultures?” Comparative Technology Transfer and Society 5:128-55 (August 2007).
- "Technology and America as a Consumer Society, 1870-1900" for The Gilded Age: Essays on the Origins of Modern America, 2 ed., ed. C. W. Calhoun. (Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources, 2007).
- "Invention, History, and Culture," for Science, Technology, and Society, an encyclopedia edited by S. Restivo. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
- "The Telephone as a Political Instrument: Gardiner Hubbard and the Political Construction of the Telephone, 1875-1880." in M. Allen and G. Hecht, Eds., Technologies of Power: Essays in Honor of Thomas Parke Hughes and Agatha Chipley Hughes (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001), 25-55.
- "Electrical Inventions and Cultural Traumas: The Telephone in America and Germany, 1860-1880," in K. Plitzner, Ed., Elektriztat in der Geisteschichte (Bassum, Austria: Verlag für Geschichte de Naturwissenschaften und der Technik, 1998), 143-54.
- "Understanding Invention as a Cognitive Process: The Case of Thomas Edison and Early Motion Pictures, 1888-1891." Social Studies of Science 20:387-430 (August 1990). With Michael E. Gorman.
- IEEE William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award, 2015 [for Tesla].
- Sally Hacker Prize for Best Popular Book, Society for the History of Technology, 2015 [for Tesla].
- Elected to the Raven Society, University of Virginia, 2015.
- Long-listed for the Winton Prize for Popular Science Writing, Royal Society, 2014.
- Scholar in Residence, Deutsches Museum, Munich, May-June 2010.
- Sally Hacker Prize for Best Popular Book, Society for the History of Technology, 2008.
- National Science Foundation, Science and Technology Studies Program, grant for "Rethinking Technology, Nature, and Society: A Research and Training Program," 2004-2007. With John K. Brown and Edmund P. Russell.
- Sloan Foundation grant for a biography of Nikola Tesla, 1997-2000.
- Newcomen Fellow in Business and Economic History, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1988-1989.
- Center Associate, Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, UVa School of Nursing.
- Faculty Advisory Board, University Press of Virginia, since 2015.
- Commissioner and Lead Scholar, Milstein Commission on the Middle Class and New Manufacturing, Miller Center, 2013-14.
- Member of the Board, National Inventors Hall of Fame, since 2009.
- Executive Secretary, Society for the History of Technology, 2009-13.
- Co-Editor, MIT Press series on "Inside Technology: New Social and Historical Approaches to Technology," with Wiebe Bijker and Trevor J. Pinch. Since 1987. Sixty books have been published.
- Trustee, Newcomen Society of the United States, 1990-2009.
- Trustee, Business History Conference, 1999-2001.
The [Oxford] Handbook of the History of Technology. Under contract to Oxford University Press. Serving as general editor.