Feb 27, 2012 - Claremont, Calif. - Scholars from throughout the nation will gather March 2-3 at Harvey Mudd College to share the ramifications of a growing, global phenomenon called “Technocracy."
Scholars from throughout the nation will gather March 2-3 at Harvey Mudd College to share the ramifications of a growing, global phenomenon called “Technocracy."
Their findings will be the focus of the 2012 Hixon Forum, a free, public event entitled, “Engineers, Exact Scientists (Technocrats) and Political Processes: Global Perspectives.”
The forum will explore the growing influence of engineers and other technical experts upon public decision-making and the likely consequences of the spread of science and engineering values into society and politics.
“I think there are dangers, especially in connection with the most dynamic societies in the world today,” said Richard Olson '62, the 2012 Hixon-Riggs Professor of Science, Technology and Society. “[Technocrats] tend to be more autocratic and less democratic. How will we most appropriately deal with a set of political leaders that we cannot assume have the characteristics that many of us are interested in?”
During the 1970s, as an increasing number of political decisions had technical elements, social theorists led by Daniel Bell predicted that engineers and technical experts—technocrats—would play a larger role in the governance of society. While the industrialized West has seen a reduction in the public influence of technocrats, their impact has soared in dynamic, developing societies such as China, Brazil and India, Olson said.
Olson will present the forum’s opening talk, "Taylorism and the Global Rise of Technocratic Ideologies,” at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 2.
For the forum schedule and a list of all speakers and topics, visit the Hixon Forum website.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger