Bernard Carlson came to discuss his acclaimed biography of Nikola Tesla. The talk focussed on the significance of Tesla's accomplishments in the context of his own time and today. Bernard is the Joseph L. Vaughan Professor of Humanities and Chair of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia, where he holds a joint appointment with the History Department. As a historian of technology, Dr. Carlson has written widely on invention and entrepreneurship as well as on the role of technology in the rise and fall of civilizations. In 2008, the latter was awarded the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology as the best book aimed at a broad audience.
W. Bernard Carlson is professor of science, technology, and society in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of history at the University of Virginia. His books include Technology in World History and Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870-1900.
Plenty of biographies glamorize Tesla and his eccentricities, but until now none has carefully examined what, how, and why he invented. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time, and focusing on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity.Find out more