Vannevar Bush was at MIT, and also served in Washington, DC, as Science Advisor to several US Presidents, headed up the Office of Scientific Research during WWII, conceived and launched the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other great distinctions.
You’ll be covering a seminal article by Vannevar Bush in this course, As We May Think. All the early pioneers of the internet were influenced in some way or another by this article. After stumbling across a collection of 12 videos that captured a Vannevar Bush Symposium held in 1995, which I posted at the Internet Archive, I got to wondering not only about the details of the Symposium (when was it, where, who organized it, why, who participated, was there a website capturing the event artifacts such as agenda, roster, speaker bios), but exactly how my father was influenced by Vannevar’s work (how, where, when, etc.).
See the results of my ‘trail of wonder, rigorously explored’ at
Video Archives of the MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium,
video lectures by great pioneers of the Information Age inspired by VB
especially section 2 Influence on Doug Engelbart which includes the quite interesting story of how my dad first encountered the article — in a remote Red Cross library in the Philippines – and a copy of a letter he wrote to Vannevar Bush in 1962 describing his proposed research. I wrote up my experience in A day in the life of a personal archivist.
Here are some cool VB-related links I found along the way:
- Bush’s 1945 Article: As We May Think, original article by Vannevar Bush, Atlantic Monthly, July 1945. See also the 1945 Life Magazine reprint with illustration added.
- Cool Animation of the MEMEX concept – the MEMEX was only a well-conceived idea, never built; this animation was commissioned by Paul Kahn, author of “From Memex to Hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the Mind’s Machine” (1991), for the Symposium
- A video introduction Vannevar Bush’s work (1995), by Paul Kahn
- A Difference Maker: Vannevar Bush – part of a special online series spotlighting specific people and moments from MIT’s 150-year history who made a difference.