Dr. George Bugliarello "Science, Technology and Society: the Tightening Circle"

Thursday, December 2, 2010, 6:30 - 8pm

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The modification of nature and the creation of artifacts (“machines”) is as old as humans (and, at times, predates them). Engineering can be broadly defined as encompassing what is usually defined by that term, but also other activities that modify nature, like agriculture, architecture and medicine. Ever tighter interactions among the “biosoma” (that is, the synergy of living systems, society, and machines) and between it and our environment raise increasing concerns about what this will mean to our lives in the future. An assessment of where we are and of where we might be going demands an understanding of several fundamental relations ranging from those among of the components of the biosoma to those of engineering to science, innovation and society.

The ISD was honored to have hosted the last public lecture in December 2010 of the late George Bugliarello, President Emeritus, University Professor and former chancellor of Polytechnic Institute of NYU. He died on February 18, 2011. An acknowledged visionary who brought about significant changes in engineering and education, Dr. Bugliarello had a broad background ranging from fluid mechanics to computer languages, the environment, biomedical engineering and science policy. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineers, and in recognition of his leadership in creating MetroTech, one of the nation's largest urban university-industry parks, he was a recipient of the Marconi Society's Beacon of Light Award.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.