Department of Science, Technology and Society
233 Lane Hall
280 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Lee Vinsel studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.
Since 2015, with his collaborator Andy Russell, Vinsel has organized and led The Maintainers, a global interdisciplinary research network that examines maintenance, repair, and mundane work with technology.
Vinsel’s work has been published in several major history journals and has appeared in or been covered by Aeon, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Guardian, Le Monde, and other popular outlets.
- Science and Technology Studies
- Body Studies and Material Culture
- Human Life and Technology
- History of Science and Technology
- History of Innovation
- PhD in History and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
- MS in History and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
- BA in Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- Member, Society for the History of Technology
- National Institute for Standards and Technology, “Design for Standardization,” Research and Curriculum Development Grant, 2014-2015
- Lemelson Center Fellow, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute, 2013
Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.
“Virtue via Association: The National Bureau of Standards, Automobiles, and Political Economy, 1919-1940.” Enterprise & Society, 2016, pp. 1-30.
“The Smart Road Not Taken.” IEEE Spectrum, no. 8, 2016, pp. 46-51.
“Hail the Maintainers.” Aeon.co, April 2016, aeon.co/essays/innovation-is-overvalued-maintenance-often-matters-more.
Select Media Mentions
General ItemThe Joy of Standards
The New York Times, 02/16/2019
General ItemDesign Thinking Is a Boondoggle
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 05/21/2018
General ItemHow to fix modernity’s Godzilla problem
Quartz, December 22, 2017
General ItemEavesdropping on the design icons who made Washington’s Metro
General ItemSome of the best parts of autonomous vehicles are already here
The Conversation, 09/19/2017
General ItemCorporate Values and Mission Statements Are Stifling Innovation
General ItemLet’s Get Excited About Maintenance!
New York Times, 07/22/2017
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