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October 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the oil embargo imposed by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in the wake of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The temporary shortages inflated energy prices, jolted the global economy, and destabilized geo-political relationships around the world. The crisis also inspired new science and technology policies and several innovations, including alternative nuclear, solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources and more fuel-efficient automobiles.
Today, we are again witnessing a resurgence in creative policy solutions and new energy innovations to address the ongoing challenges of war, energy scarcity, inflation, and the environmental impacts of climate change. In this online symposium, a distinguished group of historians, technology innovators, journalists, and policymakers will discuss the lessons we can learn from the 1970s and how they might be applied to address our present-day challenges and opportunities.
The symposium is co-presented by the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation; Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes; and Johns Hopkins University’s Department of History of Science and Technology and Department of the History of Medicine.