June 23, 2014

Francis Moon publishes history of innovation book

Francis Moon
Moon

Francis Moon, the Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering Emeritus, has published his ninth book, “Social Networks in the History of Innovation and Invention” (Springer 2013).

The book uses network theory to examine the growth of new technologies and scientific theories including the steam engine, internal combustion engine, aviation, radio, air conditioning and chaos theory. He proposes that new innovations are as much a result of the growth of social networks of people and institutions rather than the genius of a single inventor.

The book is Moon’s second related to the history of technology. His earlier work, “The Machines of Leonardo da Vinci and Franz Reuleaux,” was published in 2007. Moon has served as curator of the Reuleaux Collection of Kinematic Models at Cornell, and he received the Historian-Engineer Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2010.

Moon’s earlier books were on dynamics, chaos theory and magneto-mechanics.