Technology and Foreign Policy are Topics of RIT’s Conable Lecture Series Oct. 24

Michael Adas shares his thoughts on Americans’ belief in Western technological superiority

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Michael Adas, the Abraham E. Voorhees Professor of History at Rutgers State University of New Jersey and author of Dominance by Design, continues the Conable Distinguished Lecture Series in International Studies Oct. 24.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Conable Distinguished Lecture Series in International Studies, which welcomes scholars to campus to shed light on topics affecting communities and citizens from around the globe, continues with a talk by Michael Adas, the Abraham E. Voorhees Professor of History at Rutgers State University of New Jersey. Hawthorne presents “Dominance by Design,” 6 p.m. Oct. 24, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science auditorium.

Adas will speak about the relationship between American beliefs in Western technological superiority and U.S. foreign-policy initiatives in developing countries during the past half-century. In his books, Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America’s Civilizing Mission and Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology and Ideologies of Western Dominance, Adas engages with questions of how technology has been used to further foreign-policy ends and how cultural perceptions of technological prowess have shaped the way Europeans and Americans have evaluated non-Western people and cultures.

According to Benjamin Lawrance, Conable Chair in International Studies at RIT, Adas’ research is particularly relevant for the RIT community, given the institute’s commitment to training students for global careers in the science and engineering fields.

All talks in this series are free and open to the community.

The Conable Distinguished Lecture Series is named for former Rochester-area politician and diplomat Barber B. Conable Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1964 to 1984 and as president of the World Bank from 1986 to 1991. The series is presented by RIT’s Office of the Provost, international studies program and the College of Liberal Arts. The Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies was made possible by a starting gift from the Starr Foundation.

For more information about the lecture series, contact Lawrance at