My efforts to contribute to the greater good have focused on two warm and vibrant institutional homes: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Society for the History of Technology. I have reflected upon my service as MIT’s Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs in my book Retooling, and I have continued to do consulting on engineering education, especially at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Beyond these institutions, my civic participation consists mainly of writing and speaking on current topics or events. I do this not because I have the answers (the term “public intellectual” holds no cachet for me) but because I believe it is important to draw upon historical experience  to understand what is going on in the world—and especially to distinguish how that world is much as it ever was, and how it is radically different from that of the past.