Project Summary: History of Applied Science and Technology


Title: Into the Unknown: Technology, Science, and Their Impact on Society (working title)
Subject: History of Applied Science and Technology
Editing Team: Danielle Mead Skjelver (UMUC, UND; lead editor) / @danielle, David C. Arnold (Ph.D., UMUC), Hans Peter Broedel (Ph.D., UND), Bonnie Kim (Ph.D., UMUC)
Project Team: Mark Smith (Ph.D., UMUC), Sheryl Broedel (UND), Linda Ruggles (Ph.D., UMUC)
Rebus Project Manager: Zoe Wake Hyde / @zoe
License: CC BY
Target Audience: 100-level History of Applied Science and Technology textbook for students at colleges and universities around the world.
Subject: History
Target Release Date: Fall 2017

This textbook is designed to to meet the needs of History of Applied Science and Technology courses at colleges and universities around the world. Chapters will be organized around the theme of the transformative impact of technological and epistemological changes on worldview and human behavior as they relate to everyday life and global choices.

The book will contain fourteen to twenty modular chapters that provide instructors with content structured around a narrative focused on human transformation across time and geographic space – from fire through the present. This number will be ideally suited for courses of eight or fifteen week durations, but chapters will be fully editable so that instructors can tailor the textbook to the needs of their own classrooms.

Authors will have the opportunity to contribute in a variety of lengths: whole chapters; sections of chapters; or brief segments about the length of an encyclopedia article. We believe that students best learn history by doing history, and our method reflects this commitment. We ask authors to emphasize critical thinking, transparency, primary sources, and argument.

We are currently looking for:

Get involved by joining the disussion below with the chapter/subsection name you’re interested in and a brief bio (100-250 words), and signing up here!

As the project progresses, we will need collaborators to help us with:

  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading
  • Chapter reviews
  • Formatting in Pressbooks
  • Sourcing images
  • Accessibility checks
  • Marketing
  • Promoting adoptions in classrooms

If you are interested in a chapter or subsection that appears later in the book, or if you’d like to contribute something that is not listed in the TOC, we’d still love to hear from you! Reply to this post and we’ll be in touch.

Contributing authors will have an author credit & individual author page featuring a bio and links to any other works that the author wishes to promote. Anyone contributing editing, proofreading or any other support will also be listed as a contributor to the project.

A stipend of $200 will be split among subsection authors of full chapters completed by December 2017. Authors of full chapters will receive the full $200.

The Table of Contents is as follows:

Classical Period (500 BCE to 500 CE) – Asia
Classical Period (500 BCE to 500 CE) – Africa and the Americas
The Medieval Period (500 to 1400 CE) – The Golden Age of Islam
The Medieval Period (500 to 1400 CE) – Europe

For a more extensive outline, see here.

Here’s a list of useful documents:

TWEET THIS PROJECT! (less than 140 chars, copy-paste into Twitter)

Help us make this #opentextbook: “History of Applied Science and Technology” Find out how to contribute here:

@danielle (lead editor), @zoe (rebus project manager), @lizmays, @apurva, @megdcu, @shawn-morton, @klaurits… and you?

Heh autoresponder from one person I reach out to finished with:

If your message is a request to contribute to (yet another) Handbook, Companion, Dictionary, or Encyclopedia, please take this automatic reply as a polite refusal.


@hugh Interesting! I had no idea so many requests for such publications went out. Perhaps large organizations like ABC-CLIO might send mass mails to former contributors.

Hi there! I’m an undergraduate Linguistics and Professional Communications student at the University of Victoria! I would be really eager to help copy edit or proofread for this project, even as an assistant to a more experienced copy editor. I just finished working on the journal Victorian Review last semester (the issue I worked on happened to be about Alfred Russel Wallace, actually) and am still resisting the urge to copy edit everything I see…

I’d be especially happy to take a look at chapters 1 - 4 since I happen to be in the middle of some informal research projects that incorporate pre-1500 MENA, South Asian and sub-Saharan African history, but proofreading is its own reward, so please feel free to let me know if I can be helpful when any copy is delivered!

Welcome @megdcu , very happy to have you aboard!

I think we need to make some tshirts with the following:

“Proofreading is its own reward.”

@hugh I would certainly wear one! :slight_smile:

@megdcu Thank you for your interest, and I have added your name to the list of copy editors! I don’t suppose you might be interested in doing any writing on South Asian or sub-Saharan African sections?

@danielle While I wouldn’t want to mislead you into thinking that I have scholarly expertise in those topics, I would be pleased to help out with writing if an expert doesn’t pop up in time to move forward! I would be researching from scratch to write those sections as much as any other person with a slightly-more-than-passing acquaintance with those subjects would (I’m most familiar with southern Nigerian topics, where I’ve been digging myself down a rabbit hole for half a year, but still don’t feel like I’ve done more than scratch the surface), but I most likely have more time to do that research than a graduate/doctoral student or an instructor and will be starting in on it at some point one way or another…so if the opportunity arises, I would be happy to make any contributions you think would be appropriate!

@megdcu I misread your mail above to say that you were an undergraduate professor. My apologies. Let’s talk by email. We could certainly use proofreading! I’m at danielle.skjelver (at) Looking forward to hearing from you!

@danielle Oh, no problem! I thought something like that might be the case…you can imagine me picking the words of my last reply very carefully! I’ll get in touch by email to perhaps assist with proofreading when the time arises.

@megdcu Haha! Yes, I can. I do apologize. Thanks for your offer, and I look forward to hearing from you!

This looks like a fantastic project! I’m really eager to be involved in any way I can and see things unfold.

@shawn.morton welcome aboard! really looking forward to this project unfolding.

I reached out to a number of potential contributors. Not all of them had time to commit, but I followed up asking if they would be interested in keeping abreast with the project. Have had a couple of “yeses” to that question, so one thing that each Project (including this one) might consider doing is developing a mailing list, to send out updates.

We’ll talk about that internally at Rebus & have some ideas about how to operationalize … but: @danielle-skjelver thinking about this, it would mean that, say, M-J Bishop could be on a mailing list about the book without having to sign up to the forum (for instance), as well as some interested academics who aren’t participating in the project, but might still want to be cheerleaders.

@shawn.morton Welcome, Shawn! I look forward to working with you!

@hugh This is a great idea. It might be useful for this project led by @klaurits as well.

@danielle Yes! I like the mailing list idea, too. Thanks for thinking of the guide.

Hello! This project sounds fascinating. If you need any additional proofreading or copy editing for this project, I’d love to help. I’m a graduate student in the English and Film Studies Department at U Alberta; I’m also part of the copy editing team at Feral Feminisms.

@leanne Thanks for the offer! I will put you on the list! Feral Feminisms sounds fascinating!

@danielle Thanks! I look forward to working with you.