Cal Poly’s CLA Speaks Features Discussion with Political Theorist Langdon Winner on March 3

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly will host a talk and discussion March 3 with political theorist and author Langdon Winner, Ph.D., who focuses on social and political issues that surround modern technological change. 

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Spanos Theatre on campus.

Emerging in parallel with other lively social movements of the the 1960s and earls ’70s, citizens, professional organizations and elected officials started to pay more attention to “technology steering,” or the direction of technology policies and standards. 

Faced with the likely transformative power of developments in computing, factory automation, nuclear power, new communications media and other fields of science and technology, widespread awareness of the need for critical, broadly based, forward-looking study and evaluation of technology shaping was a major thrust in public policy making. 

Winner, who has been praised by The Wall Street Journal as “the leading academic on the politics of technology,” will discuss what became of these initiatives and what the outlook is for similar efforts today.

This CLA Speaks event, sponsored by Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts Department, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, and seating is open. 

Founded in 2015, CLA Speaks is the annual speaker series for the college. This interdisciplinary series showcases the ways that disciplines in the CLA shape important and meaningful conversations about our world, our cultures and our imagination. 

About Langdon Winner
Langdon Winner is a political theorist who focuses on social and political issues that surround modern technological change. He holds the Thomas Phelan Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Among his writings are “Autonomous Technology,” a study of the idea of “technology-out-of-control” in modern social thought and “The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology.” Langdon received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley. Over the years he has taught at The University of Leiden, UC Santa Cruz, MIT, and Harvey Mudd College. He is past president of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. Professor Winner’s thoughts on a variety of issues — energy, climate crash, innovation, public education, and technologies for people with disabilities — appear regularly on his web page:

CLA Speaks:
Langdon Winner:

Contact: Krista Smith

February 3, 2020

# # #

Related Content