Harro van Lente seminar: How do technologies die? 3.30pm 14 Feb

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation : Occasional  Seminar

How do technologies die?

Prof Harro van Lente

University of Maastricht

3.30pm Thursday 14th February 2019. 

Old Surgeons Hall Seminar Room

In the study of technological change the tendency is to focus on the emergence of new technologies. Yet, what about the fate of old technologies? What about the ‘trajectories of erosion, decay, and fossilisation’ as Elisabeth Shove and Gordon Walker once coined the reverse dynamics? In this presentation I will discuss how the decline, failure and ‘death’ of established technologies has been studied in innovation studies.


Harro van Lente is Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Head of Department at the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Maastricht University. He is one of the founding fathers of the Sociology of Expectations, which studies how representations of the future shape current socio-technical developments. He has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and edited volumes on technology dynamics, innovation policy and knowledge production. He is recipient of the 2018 EASST Freeman Award with the co-edited book (with Marianne Boenink and Ellen Moors) Emerging Technologies for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease: Innovating with Care.