TITLE: Ground Control: Beyond an Environmental History of the Space Race
SPEAKER: Neil Maher
EVENT DATE: 07/02/2009
RUNNING TIME: 61 minutes
Historians usually depict the space race of the 1960s and 1970s as a pitched technological battle between Cold War political rivals. Yet while U.S. and Soviet spacecraft forced the world to look upward towards the Moon, they also, quite ironically, encouraged citizens across the globe to gaze back down at "spaceship Earth" with a newfound environmental awareness. In this lecture, Neil Maher not only examines this environmental history of the space race, but perhaps more importantly, argues that it influenced many of the social movements of the postwar era, including the fight for civil rights, equality for women, an end to the Vietnam War, and the rise of suburbia and the military industrial complex.
Speaker Biography: Neil Maher is a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. In 2001 he received his doctorate in history from New York University. He is associate professor in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and teaches environmental history and political history at Rutgers University in Newark. Dr. Maher has received numerous fellowships, awards, and grants from institutions such as Harvard University, the Organization of American Historians, the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, and NASA. In Jan. 2008, Oxford Press published his second book "Nature's New Deal: Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement."