Gregory Hargreaves, Program Officer at Hagley Center, interviews Dan Traficonte about his research into federal programs for technology development and their relationship with private industrial interests. In support of his project, Traficonte, a PhD candidate in urban studies & planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received an exploratory research grant from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society. During the twentieth century, the United States federal government emerged as a global leader in the research and development of advanced technologies. Should the public retain patent rights to the innovations made with public money? Debate over this question roiled the business and industrial community, as 1930s-era kneejerk antipathy to state involvement gave way to eager cooperation with the state in the postwar period, before lapsing once more into antipathy from the 1980s. Meanwhile, private contractors have made fortunes by assuming proprietorship of technologies developed by NASA, DARPA, and other federal innovation agencies.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.
Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-dan-traficonte.
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.