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Nationally acclaimed engineering historian to discuss engineers and scientists March 28

Join Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, on Thurs., March 28., from 3:30-5 p.m. in Baker University Center Theatre for a discussion about the similarities and differences between engineers and scientists.

A nationally renowned engineering historian, Petroski notes that engineers and scientists are often grouped under the single rubric, “scientists,” but this masks some fundamental differences in how the “two scientific cultures” think and what they do. To further complicate the matter, the methods and goals of engineers and scientists often overlap in the real world of research and development.

Petroski notes that the situation is not helped by the mass media and by popular culture, which, when they make a distinction at all, often promote professional stereotypes that are not helpful for developing or aiding an informed public, discriminating politicians, and enlightened public policy.

His talk will employ historical examples such as the electrical engineer Charles Steinmetz, who was also a mathematician, and the prototypical scientist Albert Einstein, who was also an accomplished inventor. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Questions? Colleen Carow, carow@ohio.edu

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