Technology and the Making of Europe

ICOHTEC symposium Tel Aviv 2015

16 August - 21 August 2015
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel



16-21 August 2015





The conference theme "History of high-technologies and their socio-cultural contexts" is designed  to explore the phenomenon of “high technologies” at various historical epochs from multiple  historical and contemporary perspectives. Recognized as a major force in the modern world, “High Technology” attracts the attention of  experts from many fields. This joint conference will allow the meeting and interaction of historians  and sociologists of technology and science with practicing engineers and scientists reflecting on their  work and discipline.


The conference is organized by ICOHTEC, with members researching the broad range of history of  technology, IEEE-HISTLECON with its focus on history of electricity, electronics and software and the Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel-Aviv University.

HISTELCON is the acronym for IEEE Region 8 history conferences. Region 8 includes IEEE members in  Europe, Middle East and Africa.  Tel-Aviv and the surrounding areas, with intensive high-tech activities offer a suitable venue for  presentations, discussions, meetings and site visits.

We understand ‘high technologies’ in a broad sense, without any a-priori limit on the historical  period. We will welcome proposals related to any technology regarded by its developers, users or historians as ‘high technology,’ or as resembling the high-tech at different eras. The applicability and usefulness of the category “high technology” as well as historical comparison of  earlier technologies to fields like electronic communication and information technology will also form subjects for discussion at the conference.

We aspire to a multifaceted picture of the developments of such technologies from various

historiographical and contemporary approaches, with talks discussing subjects that include (but do not restrict to) the origins, evolution and demise of various techniques and methods, their  employment, spread and appropriation, the cultural, social, military, economic, scientific, natural and technical factors that shaped these events, and the ways high technologies influenced the societies that adopted them.


The symposium is open also to talks not directly related to the main theme as long as they can be regarded to be related to the history of technology.


The following non-inclusive list suggests a few subjects of interest within the larger theme of the

symposium. Submissions on other themes are welcomed:


  • Interactions of technologies with scientific knowledge and research
  • cultural and social conditions for developing high-tech communities
  • small ‘start-up’ companies versus established corporations
  • academic and private entrepreneurship
  • Role of patents, monopolies and market dominance in the development of high technologies
  • Developments in and of particular fields, (e.g. wireless communication, genetic engineering)
  • The inner momentum of technological and scientific developments versus the shaping of

technologies for the needs of social forces.

  • Age, gender and minorities roles in developing and using high-technologies
  • Contributions of users and tension between them and developers of high-technologies
  • Cultural and social effects of high-technologies
  • Oppositions for the development and use of high-technologies: ethical, cultural, economic and social aspects.
  • The role of experience and expertise in the development and employment of new technologies.
  • The ‘failure’ and ‘success’ of particular technologies and companies
  • The effect of regulations and standardization on the evolution of high-technologies
  • Traditional versus high technologies


We will welcome submission broadly related to any of the themes described above. In particular we encourage submissions of thematic sessions and symposia (of three papers and more).

Please contact our chair of the local organizing committee and treasurer, Yoel Bergmann,