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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1775
Vera Pavri

Exam Review Short Answer #1: Science, Technology and WW1 General Considerations - WW1 (1914-1916): 10M lives lost - Initial war strategies do not reflect new technologies, military regarded as old fashioned - Existing technologies (railroads, telegraphs, machine gun, barbed wire) combined with newer devices: airplane, tank, poison gas - War plans still did not agree with the newly found technologies - Emphasis on triumph of human spirit over technical progress Naval Power - Skilled at propaganda and receiving funds from the public - Naval power seems like a must for a nation on the global scale - Innovations in naval technology had air of spectacle: 1906 Dreadnought battleship weighed 21000 tons and was equipped with 10 12-inch barrels - guns that had an 8 mile range - Made older ships obsolete with its power but created arms race between countries who feared for own security - There was no joint planning between army and navy - Navy used for force to protect trade routes, communication routes and to protect from invasion - Prior to WWI, advances in submarine technology made by Germans - U-19: torpedoes cause problems for British - To defend from these attacks British creates hydrophones, allowing them to detect U-boats and destroy them Mass Combat and the Introduction of New Land and Air Weapons - Military initially understood ideas on transportation technologies and mobilizing troops however, had little understanding on what to do with the event of a long war - The two chief’s of staff from Britain and Germany had an understanding of a prolonged war, however many individuals did not take from this idea - Prewar develops in weaponry were not seen as something that would change the face of warfare a. Barbed Wire and Guns o By the end of the 19 century, barbed wire becomes a part of arsenal, in which changed tactics of surprising the enemy o Production of rifles in the 19 century gave snipers the edge over traditional bowman o Development of glycerin recoil mechanism allows artillery weapons, which previously fired 20 rounds per minute, to become rapid fire machines o Machine gun: in 1887, 666 rounds shot in one minute by American inventor Hiram S. Maxim o By 1900 all major powers were armed with rifles o In WWI rapid fire machine guns changed dynamics of warfare; this was difficult for military personnel familiar with traditional methods of warfare to comprehend o One man with rifle could do work of a platoon; one with a machine gun a battalion o Is a machine gun offensive or defensive? It may be used to be in the hands of the troops or at their rear such as artillery o Trench warfare was still an unknown tactic for Europeans and a war with rifles is based upon trench warfare b. Chemical Warfare o Germany first used poisonous gas in April/May 1915 o Chlorine: mustard gases o Devastating effects made Germans think twice about using it, perhaps it is not very chivalrous o By December gases are ready to be used, however allies have already came up with their own gas masks and gases o Over 500,000 casualties due to gas attacks, defensive measures did not work right away o Chemical gas: a war weapon or something much worse? o Larger issues: power and misuse of scientific knowledge; nationalization of scientific enterprise o Example: German chemical industry scientists involvement in manufacturing poisonous gases c. Tanks o Developed by Great Britain by Admiralty (“land battleships”) because army did not want to work on innovation o In Sept. 1916 the British put 20 tanks into battle but do not launch larger attack until Nov. 1917with 380 tanks o Was able to go over trenches as well as defend from machine gun fire o Problems include fuel shortages and breakdowns d. Airplanes o 1914: 500 airplanes world wide o 1918: 200,000 airplanes o Originally used for surveillance, later in the war used for air battles o Life expectancy of only 6 weeks, however much better life then troops o Chance to be a hero apposed to a random troop in the trenches State, Industry and War - Relationship between war, military and industrial production - Mass production of existing technologies before the war - War and Tariffs: loss of trading (Germans: who had their economy collapse) - In contrast to Germans losing trading power, agriculture and industrial economies, Britain’s were given US troops, more man power, more resources - US: creation of Naval Consulting Board and National Research Council between 1915-16: preparing industry for wartime production, co-ordination of scientific research - NRC: successful in artillery, submarine detection - Council of National Defense also created in 1916: empowered president Woodrow Wilson to take control of all essential industries, mines, transportation and communication systems, fix prices and control distribution systems when US enters war in 1917 - War Industries Board given control of industrial production: developed new industries, plants and supply sources; regulated existing ones in terms of materials produced, pricing, production and delivery priorities - Patent pooling in US under government pressure and seizing of German patents allows for greater technical developments - Technologies such as typewriters, rapid printing presses, telephone, telegraph, and filing systems also crucial for war effort on home front, especially in terms of communications - Cannery and drug manufacturers help sustain soldiers in field - 500M cans of food produced in US for army - Developments in agricultural technology also advanced enough so that men can leave farms and join army Exam Review Short Answer #2: Science, Technology and WW2 The Rise of “Big Science Projects” - Interwar period was the beginning of a new era of scientific research - Big Science, according to Cielsa and Trischler is: o Fusion of different scientific-technical disciplines o Extensive and intensive use of financial and human resources o Projects financed by the state o Projects may be short, middle or long-term, give concrete results o Industries conduct both basic and applied research o Political goals are combined with fact that scientists have a greater independent ability to set work goals US Research and Development prior to their Entry into WW2 - Vannevar Bush (Chairman of National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics) realizes Nazis have a much more advanced air force then the US - 1940: formation of National Defense Research Council, led by Vannevar Bush - Joined by members of army, navy and air force - Total spent on research and development: 337M - Emphasis placed on electronic goods as apposed to traditional goods - Technologies of the future: radar, proximity fuses, computers - Development of atomic bomb leads to the development of space program (hydrogen bomb, Star Wars, Strategic Defense Initiative) - Combining industrial and educational resources under military umbrella becomes foundation for future of US technology military - Industrial complex (term coined during Cold War): science has increasingly bigger role in society; interdependence of science and technology; increasing demands for more money, individuals and instruments for research, state use of research - Example: research and development used to help the air forces research Airplanes Civil Aviation o Technology improved during interwar period o Engines now use water to cool down, cheaper, lighter, faster o Material changes from wood to metal o Wing flaps allow for heavier planes to land much safer o Technology designed for military also used for civilian purpose o Commercial aviation required: developing airports, chartered airways, safety laws, weather service and beacons for night flights o Commercial aviation in place by 1920’s but doesn’t take off until the 1930’s, mostly used for mail o Passenger driven aviation aided by development of Douglas DC-3 in 1936, cost a quarter of what it did in 1929, flies safer, faster, further and carries more passengers Jet Engine Technology o Research on jet engine begins in 1930’s, long range bomber developed for war cuts civilian flights in half per passenger mile o However it was hard to make them go any faster, at 440 mph, greater speed was impossible since it would create too much pressure o Design of jet engine – prefigured in water turbines that produce electricity o Combustion causes plane to move forward by forcing jet of air out of rear of engine o Jet turns small turbine, powers compressor that pulls required air into engine o Design problems overcome when English government funds project; first practical jet engine appears by 1939 o Competition between military during war years allow for solutions to problems of jet propulsion; without war developments would have been delayed by decades o 1943: Boeing becomes first US company to work on jet, they are able to solve design problems more rapidly o Also helped by hefty cold war budget: 90% of airplane research funded by military by 1960s o Boeing 707 put into commercial market by 1958; US jet is more faster and power than European ones Radar - Radio Detection and Range - System uses radio waves to detect and determine the distance, direction and speed of objects (planes, boats, etc.) - Prior to WW2, Britain and Germany had radar technology - In 1937 Britain created the first radar network, Chain Home, detects bombs up to 150 km away - In WW2 radar used to guide larger and more accurate bombs, high risk - In 1940 two British physicists create a device called Magnetron, waves in 3GHz range, detects smaller objects - Impact of radiation labs: relationship between science and technology (quantum electronics) - Development of devices like radar used to detect incoming aircraft; primarily a defensive measure - Germans only found out about device in 1943 - After war, proud of work they did; this is not necessarily true with atomic bomb research The Manhattan Project and the Development of the Atomic Bomb - European scientist, who had immigrated to US suggest idea of atomic bomb - A group (including Einstein) writes to Roosevelt to finance project - Manhattan project: 500M approved; by 1945 figure becomes 2B - Many things kept a secret from others, protect secrets from Germans - Afraid of German lead: by 1938 German scientists like Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman fire neutrons at uranium; show that matter can be transformed into energy - Creates possibility of chain reaction: splitting (fission) of an uranium atom releases neutrons causing other atoms to break up - Irony: Hitler anticipates short war and German research never takes off; with city bombings, hard to create an industrial complex - Scientists working on project realize only rare uranium 235 isotope could be used to achieve effect they wanted; by 1940 there is agreement that using less than one pound of isolated isotope would create bomb with devastating effects - Problem: 0.7% of natural uranium is of isotope 235; new experiments done with uranium 238 produced new element of plutonium; has greater explosive potential - Scientists isolate uranium 235 via three methods: gaseous diffusion, centrifuge, electromagnetic separation - Chain reactions produced using either heavy water or graphite produce plutonium - Enrico Fermi: in 1942, produces self sustaining chain reaction; key now is to figure out how to produced uncontrolled chain reaction for bomb - Method: plutonium mass surrounded by ring of explosives; forces plutonium to implode and then explode Ethical Considerations - Experiments with bomb done in Mexico, power is equal to 20,000 tons of dynamite: fears of radiation - Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 - Hiroshima, killed 70,000 and 96% of buildings, this done despite the fact that the Germans had surrendered - Roosevelt died in April, Truman took over presidency - Scientist Leo Szilard wanted US to cease work on bomb - Some wanted bomb to be used as a scare tactic, others thought it wasn’t enough to have complete surrender - After war began the nuclear arms race German Techno-Scientific Efforts during the War - Hitler’s anticipation of short war stifles developments in science; mobilization of scientific and technical resources not seen as a priority as it was with the Allies - Emphasis on improving existing weapons - Prime example: Hitler stopped research on basic radar in 1940 and did not renew it until 1942 - Labs in Germany run by armed forces and war industries - One exception is aerodynamics - Here, scientists have greater autonomy and more funding as opposed to other efforts where there was greater control by military - After war, allies look into German atomic bomb research and find it at least three years behind Exam Review Short Answer #3: Historic Genetic Engineering Controversies The Popularity of Eugenics - At start of 20 century, Darwin’s ideas of “survival of the fittest” are seen as a way to justify “social” evolutionary research - Social Darwinism: early 20 century idea where individuals compete amongst each other and only the most fit survive - Eugenics: allows human to command their own evolution in an efficient and progressive manner - Control of reproductive decisions to gain certain social goals - In 1904, Carnegie Institution establishes center for genetic research at Cold Spring Harbor; Charles Davenport named as director - Davenport interested in ideas about human inheritance - Along with purely genetic traits like albinism and Huntington’s disease, also believed that diseases like alcoholism and “feeblemindedness” through family lineages - Linked these conditions to Mendel’s genetic theory - Race Betterment Foundation set up in Michigan in 1906 by J.H. Kellogg - In 1910, Eugenics Record Office established at Cold Spring Harbor; Harry Laughlin is named superintendent - Questions regarding increasing European immigration to US and fears of contamination from these various “races” - In 1913, Goddard tested new immigrants coming to Ellis Island (NY) and found that 80% of these individuals should be labeled as “feeble-minded” - Ideas about preventing the feebleminded from breeding become more popular with increased use of intelligence tests - Laughlin: appears as expert witness before House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization; recommended quotas be introduced restricting the number of immigrants from particular racial groups, especially those considered “undesirable” - Laws outlawing marriages between African Americans and Caucasians also introduced by 1915; Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924 only overturned by US Federal Supreme Court in 1967 - US Supreme Court in 1927 upholds right to forcibly sterilize individuals; compares it compulsory vaccinations - By 1931, 27 US states had enacted sterilization laws: compulsory sterilization of those labeled as feebleminded or morons - By 1941, 36000 sterilized under these laws - Popularity of eugenic ideas grows outside US: Germany and WWII - Ironically, this is what eventually causes individuals to oppose the movement; by 1939, Eugenics Record Office closes down and people grow disgusted by what they find in concentration camps, work of Nazis Legal Issues - Idea of issuing patents for genetic research very debatable - 1980 case: Diamond versus Chakrabarty - US Supreme Courts rules (5 to 4) that Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO) wrong to reject patent application of Chakrabarty, who had tradition of rejecting patents on living organisms - Chakrabarty worked at GE as microbiologist; he had genetically modified microbe that could eat parts of oil during spills, transforming them into harmless by-products - Controversy whether microbe a “natural” object or if it was something new that was artificially created; should one be able to patent a living organism - Decision had international implications; valid in other countries - By 1987, USPTO allowing patents on non-human, multi-cellular living organisms; creators of Harvard mouse given patent in 1988 (mouse genetically manipulated, more likely to get cancer) - In Canada, patent for Harvard mouse rejected in 2002 - Response to growing demand by researchers for patent protection - John Moore versus Regents of the University of California - Moore had spleen removed at U of California; gave tissue samples during medical tests - Doctors used tissues, cell lines from spleen for their research; in 1981 they were given patent on his cell lines; sold them commercially without Moore’s consent or knowledge (he also was not given any financial compensation for this) - In 1990, Supreme Court rejects Moore’s suit: once Moore’s cells out of his body, they were no longer his and he could not claim them as his own property - Also seemed to agree with UCLA argument that it would be too difficult to keep track of who is given materials (too much money and too much work) Exam Review Long Answer #1: How Users Shape Technology (telephone to Internet) Telephone Social Uses of the Telephone th - Up until the beginning of 20 century, public was told telephone was similar to telegraph and should be used for the same things - Until WW1, stressed for practical uses of telephone: business needs, household tax, emergencies, invitations, during war primarily used by military and government, causes delays for average customers - By 1920’s, ads by Bell promoting telephone sociability to become more frequent, especially more frequent for long distance, especially in Canada - Late 1920’s lack sales in comparison to other goods (cars), emphasis on sociability takes back seat with depression, returns to be used for emergency - During 1930’s advertising mixes messages: telephone for practical purposes and sociable conversations - 1939 ad emphasizes idea of telephone allowing one to keep in touch with their family and friends, voice visiting (focus on conversational usage) Changes in Telephone Usage - While Bell believed that the telephone may be used for social purposes prior to WW1, many believed that social calls were unnecessary - Social calls still represented 30% of phone calls, many people believed this was a waste of telephone line usage - Tried to introduce measures to discourage this: education teaching proper use of telephone usage, after WW1 seen as a luxury or comfort item, this allowed vendors to now see value of “trivial social uses” - Rural communities saw telephone as reduction in feelings of isolation and disconnect, ads aimed at rural farmers more then urban centers - Women are key factors of telephone usage for sociability - Reasons behind change in telephone usage explained by: o Economics: early companies saw no profit in social calls, business made up for residential usage, flat rate proves social calls take up phone lines, difficulties with constructing phone lines for residents (technical qualities between residential and business), after WW1 this is not the case, promote usage of telephone for social purposes o Technical considerations: extended calls tied up party lines, time limits introduced, rates for long distance decrease o Cultural factors: early history saw individuals equate telephone with telegraph, telegraph companies served as models for telephone companies, telephone calls were seen as messages thus relating to business and practical purposes, user themselves are educated and wealthy individuals, shift after WW1 due to lower costs, more subscribers, better instruments, new technology and greater privacy Radio Amateur Radio Hobbyist and the Transformation of Radio - Radio in early years seen as point to point communications, also difficult to control, no privacy (major criticism: like telegraph), interference problems - Military was the prime customer of new system - 1920’s: amateur radio operators reshaped the radio: new ways of using radio - Amateurs believe that no one should control the “ether”, many operators gained knowledge from WW1 and bought mass produced products to create their own apparatuses - Most important: amateurs served as early radio broadcasters, talking about news, weather, music, etc. Enter Big Business and New Problems in the Radio Industry - 1920: first broadcasting station KDKA (Westinghouse) - 1922: 500 broadcasting stations - 1923: performers demanding compensation for their services, sponsors and advertising soon gain popularity - Radio boom= a demand for more radio equipment (radio receivers) - Selling radio equipment is RCA territory, AT&T see missed opportunity - AT&T tries to push out its partner to create a monopoly for themselves - Backfires: AT&T broadcast monopoly condemned, accused of depriving public of entertainment, fears it may affect their phone business - RCA defends patent in 1927, gives them full control of all major circuit patents for radio receivers, AT&T concentrates on monopoly over telephone - AT&T given control of all two way communications; RCA must use AT&T’s telephone lines as opposed to its own or Western Union Personal Computer Examining the Role of Hobbyist in the History of Technology - History of personal computers, shows the role amateurs can play in the development of new technologies - Computer hobbyists contributed to the development of the microcomputer industry in a number of different ways o Set up user networks o Established new hardware and software programs o Established many small manufacturing firms o Were lead users o Left imprint on technology itself - Hobbyists were lead users of personal computing technology and helped update machines before they entered the consumer market - Idea of amateur: individual who pursues activity outside of their regular occupation for no monetary gain - The average amateur or hobbyist may pursue activity with little skill advanced hobbyists are often highly skilled and devote a lot of time Characteristics of Computer Hobbyists - 1976: Venture Development Corporation did a survey of over 1500 computer hobbyists o 2/3 computer hobbyists were professionally employed, working as either programmers, technicians or engineers o ¾ of these individuals used computers daily at work o 40% of hobbyists did not own their own computers but considered themselves above novice level in both software and hardware applications o 44% spend between 10-19 hours a week on hobby: 13% spent close to 30 hours a week o 1/3 of hobbyists invested over $2000 in their computing systems: 10% spent $4000 (10-20% of annual income) - Believed in anti-establishment: computers should be available to ordinary people and not just government, wanted to take back technology from corporate powers and big business - Examples: Lee Felsenstein sets up Computer Memory which allows individuals to publicly access mainframes; People’s Computer Company sends out newsletters, etc.… which claim computers being used to control average person Hobbyists and Personal Computing Prior to the Development of the Altair - Initially, microprocessor kits produced by Intel were not sold to public; used as way to advertise memory chips - Smaller companies with access to microprocessor chips began to advertise to hobbyist market by 1974 - Scelbi-8H advertised to hobbyists; created around Intel 8008 chip - Radio Electronics advertised Mark-8; also based on 8008 chip - Readers had option to send away for booklet containing instructions on how to set up system, yet these systems were inferior because 8008 chip was not as powerful as 8080 - 8080 was eight-bit chip that needed fewer support chips (6 compared to 20) and contained more memory that 8008; however each cost $360 The Altair - Altair 8800 in January 1975 signals start of personal computing - Altair created by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems Corporation (MITS) and was headed by Ed Roberts - MITS went into computer industry after poor sales in calculator market - Roberts commissioned by Popular Electronics to make personal computer for Jan. 1975 issue after Roberts promised it would be based on 8080 chip - MITS negotiated with Intel who sold them 8080 for $75 each; this made Altair far more powerful than predecessors and allowed him to sell each machine for only $400 - Personal computer in only most basic sense of term - Came in black box and had no keyboard or monitor; panel of switches on front allowed hobbyists to input and output data - No programming language and no permanent memory storage; problems with delivery - However, Altair powerful and had buss architecture which allowed for a number of slots for add on accessories - **This was very important because this “open-ended” architecture allowed hobbyists to tinker with system and improve upon it over time - Slots allowed hobbyists to insert new circuit boards which was necessary; Altair came with only four circuit boards - Attachments like teletype, extra memory chips or programs were necessary in order to make computer useful; however, this could raise price of machine to over $3000 - Yet despite these problem, sales staggering; by April 1975 MITS has almost 4000 orders to fill MITS and Marketing of Altair to Computer Hobbyists - Advertising key way that industries diffuse technology into general public - Historians of Computing William Asprey and Donald Beaver list several reasons why it is important to look at computer advertising: o Shows how computer conceptualized and presented to different users o Reflect what images, features of new technology are most likely to be appealing and will produce the most sales - In terms of computer hobbyists, Altair was advertised as “world’s first microcomputer kit to rival commercial models…save over $1000” - Also advertised as series computer that could compete with minicomputers; not just recreational toy - Altair more than calculator or number cruncher; it was logic machine - Difficulty that came with building it used to emphasis fact it was “real, full blown computer” - Computer could grow with user needs; unlimited expansion - MITS offered add-on equipment like memory cards, computer terminals and memory modules in order to promote device as “complete system” - Claimed they were selling Altair to both hobbyists and industries - Contests: hobbyists urged to submit software programs in return for $1000 credit toward Altair purchase - Hobbyists thus helped MITS solidify position on market and provided company with stable and reliable market base - MITS could also continue to expand inventory without having to invest in own research and development; important because of increased competition from rivals - Comparisons with Britain experience Hobbyists Contributions to the Development of Personal Computer - Computer hobbyists were first group to fully embrace idea of personal computers; contributed significantly to its development o User Networks  User networks allowed hobbyists to communicate with each other; exchange information with others who may be more knowledgeable than them  Give like-minded individuals chance to socialize with each other  Computer hobbyists started to form own organizations  Did so because Altair often did not work properly; no software for machine; few knew technical intricacies of microcomputer  Computer groups often provi
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