Science Pub RVA →

How Regulation Creates Technological Innovation

Dr Lee Vinsel

Dr Lee Vinsel presenting at Science Pub RVA March 14, 2018. Photo: Patterson Lawson

Is there any technology that we love more than our cars? Drawing on the history of automobile regulation in the United States, Dr. Lee Vinsel talks about the rules of the road that fueled innovation in the face of competition, constraints and working for the common good in his informal talk, “Taming the American Car.”

This program was held March 14, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia and represents the fourth of a series of eight science cafes in partnership between Science Pub RVA and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Science, Technology and Society Program, a unit of the College of Humanities and Sciences, and is supported by a National Science Foundation grant (#1611953).

Lee Vinsel, PhD
Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Virginia Tech
Dr. Vinsel grew up among abandoned steel mills in the rust belt town of Joliet, Illinois. The mascot of his high school was “The Steelman” — the name given to a statue originally titled “Science Advancing Mankind,” which had been built for the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago. When in High School he watched the movie Clueless (Paramount Films) and thought, “who’s this Nietzsche guy?” that one of the film’s characters was reading poolside during a memorable scene. That question ignited his mind and led him to earn a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois. He then went on to earn M.S. and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, where most of his work was supported through a National Science Foundation funded by Carnegie Mellon’s Climate Decision Making Center. While teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, he co-founded a global research network called The Maintainers, which is dedicated to the study of maintenance, repair, upkeep, and ordinary work with technology. (Read the first essay on this topic here on Aeon, “Hail the Maintainers”.)

Two SciPubbers hanging out before the Dr. Vinsel took the stage. (Photography of Patterson Lawson)

Join us at a future Science Pub RVA program. 

More photos from this event can be found here.

Science Pub RVA is a program of Science Matters and the Community Idea Stations, central Virginia's PBS & NPR stations.

Sign up for email announcements of future pubs and follow Science Pub RVA on Facebook and Twitter.