Berg, Professor of History at the University of Warwick, believes
that many conventional histories concentrate too much on inventors and
their inventions, and not enough on those who created the demand for
the goods they produced. They ignore the vital transformation of consumer
desires that went with the Industrial Revolution.
is a Senior Lecturer in the History of Chinese Science and Medicine
at the School of Oriental and African Studies. 'By concentrating solely
on the European roots of the Industrial Revolution,' he says, 'we lose
sight of the fact that in 1800 the centre of the world economy was still
in East Asia - where many technical advances linked to that revolution
had already been made.'
Professor of Anthropological Science at Cambridge, believes the hardest
thing if to realize that there is a mystery. 'But if you look at the
long history of man, it's just a speck of time since we suddenly seem
to have burst the bounds out of an agrarian agricultural world into
an industrial, scientific and modern political world.'
Professor of Economics and History at Northwestern University, Illinois,
is interested in the political climate that produces inventions. 'As
a general rule, the weaker the government, the better it is for innovations.
With some notable exceptions, autocratic rulers have tended to be hostile
or indifferent to technological change.'
from the History and Philosophy of Science Department at Cambridge,
is fascinated by the way our perceptions have changed. 'It is very recent
that themes like fate, inevitability, destiny, the blessing of God,
providence, have stopped being the privileged ways of explaining what
happened to our nation in the past.'
'The Day the World Took Off, The Roots of the Industrial Revolution'
by Sally & David Dugan, Channel 4 Books 2000]