Members of the Game Changers curatorial team will be presenting their exhibition research at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), convening virtually from 8–11 October 2020. SHOT is an international scholarly society whose 1,500 members are dedicated to “the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts.”
Back in January 2020, our team posted a description for a planned session on “Science, Technology, Innovation, and Sports” on the SHOT website and solicited potential collaborators who might be interested in presenting their relevant research. We were pleasantly surprised to receive inquiries from several scholars, so we ultimately proposed two sessions, featuring a total of eight research papers.
Collectively, our papers explore
- how science, technology, and invention have infused modern sports;
- the scientists, inventors, and athletes who develop and use sports technologies; and
- the social, cultural, economic, and regulatory processes by which technologies are accepted as beneficial and fair, or rejected as harmful and illegal.
Arthur Daemmrich, Eric Hintz, and Meg Maher were poised to present their Game Changers research alongside five colleagues from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. However, due to the COVID pandemic, SHOT was forced to postpone its planned meeting in New Orleans and transition the conference to an online format. Unfortunately, the new online program presented a scheduling conflict for a few panelists, including Meg, so we’ll miss seeing their presentations.
Science, Technology, Innovation, and Sports I
Eric S. Hintz, PhD, Historian, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
“Moneyball: The Computational Turn in Professional Sports Management”
**Robert Kronenburg, PhD, Roscoe Chair in Architecture, University of Liverpool
“Human-Machine Rapport in Sport: Gliding and Soaring”
**Meg Maher, Exhibition Curator, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
“The Speedo LZR: How the World’s ‘Most Technically Advanced Swimsuit’ Came to Be Seen as ‘Technological Doping’”
**Matt Ventresca, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary
“Ice Buckets: Constructing Sociotechnical Histories of Hockey Helmets”
**Denotes scholars who are unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts under the online format.
Science, Technology, Innovation, and Sports II
Katrin Boniface, PhD candidate, Dept. of History, University of California, Riverside
“Trotting Time: Advances in Horsepower”
Arthur Daemmrich, PhD, Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
“Stadium Technologies and the Consumption of Sport”
Tyler J. King, PhD candidate, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto
“Contact Sports to Contact with the Law: The History of CTE and the Emergence of a Legal Defense”
Tolga Ozyurtcu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Education, Univ. of Texas at Austin
“Waves of Innovation: Surfing, Technology, and Nature”
Overall, the Game Changers team is excited to present its exhibition research and learn from other scholars who are working at the intersections of science, technology, innovation, and sports.