Critical Response Paper (must be analytically deep)


Your readings for this week are:
Janet Vertesi, “Mind the Gap: The London Underground Map and Users’ Representations of Urban Space”, Social Studies of Science 38, No. 1 (Feb., 2008), pp. 7-33 [JSTOR]
Thomas P. Hughes, “The Electrification of America: The System Builders”, Technology and Culture 20, no. 1(1979): 124-161. [JSTOR]
Here are the prompts for this week. (Note: I’ve noticed a trend that students who do well on the response papers seem to be those who use the prompts to give their papers more specificity and analytical depth)
1. How did Edison’s systematic approach to innovation contribute to electrification of America? What role did entrepreneurs like Insull play in analyzing social and market needs that contributed to Edison’s innovations?
2. Do you think cognitive mapping has an impact on systems other than the London metro as described by Vertesi? Drawing on Vertesi’s discussion, suggest what you think might be a similar system.
3. Consider the example of Edison and Insull in conjunction with The Linear Model of funding research. Do you think Stokes was correct in his assessment of Edison as an important counter-example of innovation as independent entrepreneurship?