Cover image for Inventing for the environment
Inventing for the environment
Molella, Arthur P., 1944-
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press in association with the Lemelson Center, Smithsonian Institution, [2003]

Physical Description:
xix, 398 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
On nature and technology. Tempered dreams / Richard White ; The tool that is more : an inquiry into fire, the original Promethean invention / Stephen J. Pyne -- What role does innovation play in urban landscapes? Inventing nature in Washington, D.C. / Timothy Davis ; Bioliteracy, bioparks, urban natural history, and enhancing urban environments / Michael H. Robinson ; Portrait of innovation : Jon C. Coe / Martha Davidson -- How do innovations in city planning shape the environment? Environmental planning for national regeneration : techno-cities in New Deal America and Nazi Germany / Arthur Molella and Robert Kargon ; Prospects and retrospect : the city of Hundertwasser and Soleri / Harry Rand, with a statement by Paolo Soleri ; Portrait of innovation : Erick Valle / Martha Davidson -- How do innovations in architecture affect the environment? Straw-bale building : using an old technology to preserve the environment / Kathryn Henderson ; The Wimberley house of healing / Marley Porter ; Portrait of innovation : David Hertz / Martha Davidson -- How are technological innovation, public health, and the environment related? How bad theory can lead to good technology : water supply and sewerage in the age of miasmas / Martin V. Melosi ; Clean water for the world / Ashok Gadgil ; Portrait of innovation : Devra Lee Davis / Martha Davidson -- How can innovations in alternative energy sources affect the environment? Reducing automobile emissions in southern California : the dance of public policies and technological fixes / Rudi Volti ; Negawatts, hypercars, and natural capitalism / Amory Lovins ; Portrait of innovation : Subhendu Guha / Martha Davidson -- How are the principles of industrial ecology applied to benefit the environment? Industrial ecology and the transformation of corporate environmental management : a business historian's perspective / Christine Meisner Rosen ; Industrial ecology / Braden Allenby ; Portrait of innovation : Robert H. Socolow / Martha Davidson -- Conclusion : The new environmentalism / Roderick Nash, with Martha Davidson.
Format :


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T173.8 .I6185 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This ambitious book describes the many ways in which invention affects the environment (here defined broadly to include all forms of interaction between humans and nature). The book starts with nature itself and then leads readers to examine the built environment and then specific technologies in areas such as public health and energy.Each part focuses on a single environmental issue. Topics range widely, from the role of innovation in urban landscapes to the relationship among technological innovation, public health, and the environment. Each part features an essay by a historian, an essay by a practitioner, and a "portrait of innovation" describing an individual whose work has made a difference. The mixture of historians and practitioners is critical because statements about the environment inevitably measure present and future conditions against those of the past. Early in the industrial revolution, smoke stacks were symbols of prosperity; at its end they were regarded as signs of pollution. Historical examples can also lead to the rediscovery of an old technology, as in the revival of straw bale construction. As it explores the history of invention for the environment, the book suggests many new ways to put the past to use for the common good.

Author Notes

Arthur P. Molella is Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center. He is the author of "Exhibiting Atomic Culture: The View from Oak Ridge" and the coeditor (with Joyce Bedi) of Inventing for the Environment (MIT Press).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This large book contains 21 articles by 27 contributors with a variety of backgrounds (industry, universities, government organizations, foundations) and specializations (history, architecture, sociology, engineering, biology, public policy). The major part of the book is composed of six chapters, each with three sections, the last a biography of a major contributor. Chapters address the urban landscape, city planning, architecture, public health, energy sources, and industrial ecology and cover a wide variety of topics from different historical periods: straw-bale buildings, playgrounds, urban smog reduction, and others. The book treats "environment" in a broader sense and emphasizes urban issues. The main message is that human culture (technologically based) should not be separated from nature. A book covering such a broad area is not of much value as a source of specific information. Its main purpose is to assist readers in developing a broader perspective of the relationship between human activities and the environment. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; faculty; professionals. P. Kruus Carleton University

Table of Contents

Eric LemelsonThomas LovejoyRichard WhiteStephen J. PyneTimothy DavisMichael H. RobinsonMartha DavidsonArthur P. Molella and Robert H. KargonHarry Rand and Paolo SoleriMartha DavidsonKathryn HendersonMarley PorterMartha DavidsonMartin V. MelosiAshok GadgilMartha DavidsonRudi VoltiAmory LovinsMartha DavidsonChristine Meisner RosenBraden AllenbyMartha DavidsonRoderick Nash and Martha Davidson
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xv
On Nature and Technology
Tempered Dreamsp. 3
The Tool That Is More: An Inquiry into Fire, the Original Promethean Inventionp. 11
What Role Does Innovation Play in Urban Landscapes?
Inventing Nature in Washington, D.C.p. 31
Bioliteracy, Bioparks, Urban Natural History, and Enhancing Urban Environmentsp. 83
Portrait of Innovation: Jon C. Coep. 95
How Do Innovations in City Planning Shape the Environment?
Environmental Planning For National Regeneration: Techno-Cities in New Deal America and Nazi Germanyp. 107
Prospects and Retrospect: The City of Hundertwasser and Solerip. 131
Portrait of Innovation: Erick Vallep. 163
How Do Innovations in Architecture Affect the Environment?
Straw-Bale Building: Using an Old Technology to Preserve the Environmentp. 175
The Wimberley House of Healingp. 211
Portrait of Innovation: David Hertzp. 219
How Are Technological Innovation, Public Health, and the Environment Related?
How Bad Theory Can Lead to Good Technology: Water Supply and Sewerage in the Age of Miasmasp. 231
Clean Water for the Worldp. 257
Portrait of Innovation: Devra Lee Davisp. 265
How Can Innovations in Alternative Energy Sources Affect the Environment?
Reducing Automobile Emissions in Southern California: The Dance of Public Policies and Technological Fixesp. 277
Negawatts, Hypercars, and Natural Capitalismp. 289
Portrait of Innovation: Subhendu Guhap. 307
How Are the Principles of Industrial Ecology Applied to Benefit the Environment?
Industrial Ecology and the Transformation of Corporate Environmental Management: A Business Historian's Perspectivep. 319
Industrial Ecologyp. 339
Portrait of Innovation: Robert H. Socolowp. 373
Conclusion: The New Environmentalismp. 383
List of Contributorsp. 391
Indexp. 395