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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Beyond an Environmental History of the Space Race: Free Lecture at NJIT

Historians usually depict the space race of the 1960s and 1970s as a pitched technological battle between Cold War political rivals. Yet while U.S. and Soviet spacecraft forced the world to look upward towards the Moon, they also, quite ironically, encouraged citizens across the globe to gaze back down at “spaceship Earth” with a newfound environmental awareness.

The next NJIT Technology and Society Forum presentation will be held Nov. 3, 2010 at 3-4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Atrium when historian Neil Maher, chair of the history department, discusses the influence of the environmental history of the space race and the divisive politics of the “long 1960s.” The free event is open to the public.  

Maher will also detail how this series of events even touched the Civil Rights, Women’s, Environmental, and anti-Vietnam War movements. The ultimate goal of Maher’s current research in this area is to focus attention not only on the historic significance of NASA, but more importantly on how the space race and nature’s role within it shaped the politics and culture of post-World War II America.

 An associate professor in the NJIT Federated History Department, Maher teaches environmental and political history.  He has published articles in journals that include the Western Historical Quarterly, Environmental History and the Chronicle of Higher Education, edited a collection of essays by historians, scientists, and policy analysts titled New Jersey’s Environments: Past, Present, and Future (Rutgers University Press, 2006), and co-edited a special issue of the Radical History Review titled “Transnational Environments: Rethinking the Political Economy of Nature in a Global Age” (Duke University Press, 2010). In January of 2008, Oxford University Press published his book, Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement, which received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history.

For more information: Contact Jay Kappraff, kappraff@adm.njit.edu or 973-596-3490. Visit the NJIT Technology and Society Forum on the Web at http://tsf.njit.edu.

Previous Forum presentations are available at http://itunes.njit.edu; search for “Technology and Society Forum.”

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.