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June 1st, 2023

Call: historian who specializes in the intersection of culture and technology, especially within the post-war period. 

How technology forged culture and drove politics in the Cold War – new Smithsonian Channel documentary

The UK-based television production company, Blink Films, are creating a new documentary for the Smithsonian Channel (and Channel 4 in the UK and France 5 in France). This film will focus on the race to build a supersonic airliner, commencing in the 1960s and extending through the 1970s.

What we are hoping to find are people who know about the intersection of politics, culture, and technology in the post-war period, especially in relation to the Cold War. The period after the Second World War is seen as a golden age of science with a wide range of new, more powerful, fast, and larger machines. Wide-scale electrification, cars (with interstate construction), rockets, satellites, electronics, more abundant food and effective medicine. It is a time of great techno-optimism. Underlying all of this is the Cold War and the competition between powers to master technology and claim the future. This can be demonstrated by the Space Race, for example. National powers of the time are battling for what they see as the soul of civilization, and their ability to innovate and push the boundaries of technology is seen as a confirmation of their inherent rightness.

What we are looking for is someone who can help paint the contextual picture of the interplay of culture and technology at this time. After the war, there is a period of rapid technological change and it quickly becomes the yardstick by which societies and economic systems (capitalism and communism) measured themselves. Atomic weapons, atomic energy, medicines, spacecraft, are all highly regarded achievements that many countries are using to define themselves in a quickly changing world and it is in this world that race to build SSTs begins. We are hoping to speak to a historian that can help describe this world.

Any assistance in this would be greatly appreciated.

Liam Curran (<liam.curran@blinkfilmsuk.com>, +(44)7449903508), works as a Researcher for the UK-based television production company, Blink Films and would be happy to answer any questions any potential historian may have about the production.


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