Project Dealing with Technology and Society
You have come into possession of a time machine which will allow you to travel back in time to any twenty-year period in recorded history and experience the full twenty-year period you choose.
Pick a twenty-year time period prior to 1900. If you are working with another instructor, then work within the time period and place as prescribed by him.
- Indicate why you would have liked to have lived in this time period from the perspective of a scientist. Also indicate where you would have liked to have lived and why.
- Why was the society of the time ripe for the technological advances made during that time period?
- How would you, knowing what you do now, have influenced experimentation in order to increase the rate at which technology might have advanced? Take into account the ability to pursue this line from the point of view of limitations of existing equipment and sociological influences.
- Suppose that you could take back with you a single piece of technology; what would you select and why? Indicate how an individual from that time period might react to that piece of technology.
- Assume you were able to communicate by letter with two persons of that time period - one from the arts, one from the science - which two people would you choose and why?
- Compose a letter that you would have written to either of these people.
- Upon returning, what moral/ethical principles of that time do you understand better from this experience?
Contributed by Michael J. Kelly, Westford Academy, Westford, MA 01886.