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See detailThe Sound (Studies) of Science & Technology
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Lengersdorff, Diana; Wieser, Matthias (Eds.) Schlüsselwerke der Science & Technology Studies (2014)

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See detailSound and Safe : A History of Listening Behind the Wheel
Krebs, Stefan UL; Bijsterveld, Karin; Cleophas, Eefje et al

Book published by Oxford University Press (2014)

Do you enjoy listening to music while driving? Do you find radio traffic information indispensable? Do you appreciate the moments of your drive in which you can listen to or sing along with whatever you ... [more ▼]

Do you enjoy listening to music while driving? Do you find radio traffic information indispensable? Do you appreciate the moments of your drive in which you can listen to or sing along with whatever you like? This book shows how we created auditory privacy in cars, making them feel sound and safe, even though automobiles were highly noisy things at the beginning of the twentieth century. It explains how engineers in the automotive industry found pride in making car engines quieter once they realized that noise stood for inefficiency. It follows them as they struggle against sounds audible within the car after the automobile had become a closed vehicle. It tells how noise-induced fatigue became an issue once the car became a mass means for touring across the country. It unravels the initial societal concerns about the dangers of car radio and what it did to drivers' attention span. It explores how car drivers listened to their cars' engines to diagnose car problems, and appreciated radio traffic information for avoiding traffic jams. And it suggests that their disdain for the ever-expanding number of roadside noise barriers made them long for new forms of in-car audio entertainment. This book also allows you to peep behind the scenes of international standardization committees and automotive test benches. What did and does the automotive industry to secure the sounds characteristic for their makes? Drawing on archives, interviews, beautiful automotive ads, and literature from the fields of cultural history, science and technology studies, sound and sensory studies, this book unveils the history of an everyday phenomenon. It is about the sounds of car engines, tires, wipers, blinkers, warning signals, in-car audio systems and, ultimately, about how we became used to listen while driving. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Art of Stethoscope Use: Diagnostic Listening Practices of Medical Physicians and “Auto Doctors”
Krebs, Stefan UL; Van Drie, Melissa

in Icon : Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology (2014), 20(2), 92-114

Since the early years of the trade, car mechanics were often referred to as ‘auto-doctors’, a figuration most readily discernible in the field’s advertisements and trade journals. This linking of car ... [more ▼]

Since the early years of the trade, car mechanics were often referred to as ‘auto-doctors’, a figuration most readily discernible in the field’s advertisements and trade journals. This linking of car repair craft skills to the clinical expertise of medical physicians is often suggested through depiction of this ‘auto-doctor’ using a stethoscope. Beyond being emblematic of a doctor’s vocation, referencing this tool underlines a tradition common to both professions: namely, of training the expert’s senses to detect and analyse problems in cars and human bodies by their sounds. However with the advent of more visual forms of diagnosis (e.g., x-rays) in the 1950s and 1960s, medical auscultation’s real potential was more and more frequently put into question. Roughly at the same time, similar shifts from sonic to visual means of diagnosis (e.g., oscilloscopes) occurred in the car mechanics trade. This article explores connections between the two very different fields of medical diagnosis and car repair through an investigation of their ‘sonic skills’ (the listening skills and other skills needed to employ the tools for listening). This comparison is developed first through delineating the bodily, cognitive and socio-technical aspects of diagnostic listening, for which examining different teaching strategies for learning such techniques in both fields are revelatory. We examine each technique’s key dispositions and contexts of enactment, including uses of the stethoscope and other tools, particular listening protocols and bodily postures and ways of sharing and communicating about perceived acoustic information within professional settings. Finally, we explore how listening is equally engaged in the construction of professional identities, including relationships between experts and non-experts. [less ▲]

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See detail“Dial Gauge versus Senses 1 - 0” : German Auto Mechanics and the Introduction of New Diagnostic Equipment, 1950–1980
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Technology and Culture (2014), 55(2), 354-389

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car; these sounds can be used to monitor the car while driving, and, in case of a flaw, to diagnose its source. For German car mechanics ... [more ▼]

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car; these sounds can be used to monitor the car while driving, and, in case of a flaw, to diagnose its source. For German car mechanics, listening to car sounds was, since the institutionalization of the trade in the 1930s, a legitimate entrance to diagnostic knowledge. The introduction of new diagnostic equipment in the 1950s contested the epistemic status of diagnostic listening. Manufacturers and trade authors claimed that these new testing instruments alone gave objective measurements, whereas old-fashioned bodily practices like diagnostic listening were too subjective and thus insufficient for automobile diagnostics. However, contesting the status of sensory diagnosis implicated the contestation of the car mechanics’ socio- technical position. This is why German mechanics did not embrace diagnostic technology until the 1980s and continued to deploy their sensory skills when diagnosing malfunctions. [less ▲]

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See detailDiagnose nach Gehör? Die Aushandlung neuer Wissensformen in der Kfz-Diagnose (1950–1980)
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Ferrum : Nachrichten aus der Eisenbibliothek (2014), 86

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See detailVon Motorkonzerten und aristokratischer Stille : die Einführung der geschlossenen Automobilkarosserie in Frankreich und Deutschland, 1919–1939
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Gleitsmann, Rolf-Jürgen; Wittmann, Jürgen (Eds.) Innovationskulturen um das Automobil : Von gestern bis morgen (2013)

Die rasche Verbreitung der geschlossenen Automobilkarosserie stellt in der Technik- und Kulturgeschichte des Automobils eine tiefgreifende Zäsur dar. Noch zu Beginn der 1920er Jahre dominierte der offene ... [more ▼]

Die rasche Verbreitung der geschlossenen Automobilkarosserie stellt in der Technik- und Kulturgeschichte des Automobils eine tiefgreifende Zäsur dar. Noch zu Beginn der 1920er Jahre dominierte der offene Wagen die Automobilmärkte auf beiden Seiten des Atlantiks, wurde aber innerhalb einer halben Dekade fast vollständig von der geschlossenen Karosserie verdrängt. Den Beginn machten um 1925 die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, die europäischen Automobilnationen folgten wenige Jahre später. Die Einführung der geschlossenen (Ganzstahl-)Karosserie war zunächst ein zentraler Eckstein der automobilen Massenherstellung, darüber hinaus veränderte sie aber auch die sinnliche, insbesondere die akustische Erfahrung des einfachen Automobilisten. (Lauf-)Ruhe wurde zu einem wichtigen neuen Qualitätsmerkmal und Automobilingenieure versuchten dementsprechend, das Automobil akustisch zu zähmen. Laute Geräusche wurden nun im automobiltechnischen Diskurs als mechanische Ineffizienz, als Kraftvergeudung, interpretiert. Damit wurde der geräuschlose Gang des Motors zum erstrebenswerten Ziel an sich. Auch die Karosserie wurde durch verbesserte Federung und Schallisolierung konstruktiv beruhigt. Die neue Stille im geschlossenen Innenraum erhielt insbesondere in der Werbung die Zuschreibung von Luxus und Vornehmheit – das leise Automobil wurde so zum bürgerlichen Distinktionsmittel. Der Vortrag zeichnet die Einführung der geschlossenen Karosserie in Frankreich und Deutschland und den damit verbundenen (sensorischen) Wandel der Fahrerfahrung nach. [less ▲]

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See detailListening to the Sounding Objects of the Past : The Case of the Car
Bijsterveld, Karin; Krebs, Stefan UL

in Franinovic, Karmen; Serafin, Stefania (Eds.) Sonic Interaction Design (2013)

This chapter will provide historical context for sonic interaction design by writing a history of sounding objects with a particular focus on the 20th century, the West, and the history of the car as a ... [more ▼]

This chapter will provide historical context for sonic interaction design by writing a history of sounding objects with a particular focus on the 20th century, the West, and the history of the car as a sounding object. The chapter’s introduction will clarify why it is useful to have historical knowledge of the everyday sounding objects of the past and the auditory cultures in which they functioned. Such historical knowledge will help to enhance the designers’ awareness of the changing cultural meanings and evaluations of particular sounds, and the potential differences in the response to such sounds. We will illustrate this by starting with an early twentieth century description of the many sounds of the car, and our contemporary lack of understanding of these sounds: they do not speak to us in the same way as they spoke to the historical author of the description. In addition, this chapter helps to historicize and situate the rise of sonic design itself. What do we know about the sounding objects of the past? Our second section will provide an overview of the historical literature on sounding objects in the ages before the 20th century. It sketches the different approaches to this history, such as those from acoustic ecology, socio-economic and environmental history, history of the senses, cultural history, cultural geography and cultural studies, musicology, media studies, history of medicine, and science and technology studies. Pending on the perspectives behind these approaches, the focus in such work is either on the rise and fall of particular sounds as a consequence of new processes of production and consumption; the changing cultural hierarchy of the senses; the complex symbolic meanings of sound, silence and noise; cultures of musical performance and listening; the use of recording and amplification technologies; or the contributions of science and medicine to the understanding of sounding objects. At the end of this section, we will explain which of these traditions are most useful to us in understanding how sounding objects (and cars as sounding objects in particular) have been sources of information, centerpieces of artistic veneration, occasions for noise control, and facilitators of acoustic privacy. Subsequently, the third section will focus on how sounding objects, notably the sounds of the automobile engine, have been sources of information in the 20th century. This section will show how engineers, car mechanics and drivers struggled with making sense of what the engine sounds “said.” Highly important in this section is to show how not only the sounds themselves changed, but also the meaning of these sounds and the vocabulary to describe them. Linked to the difficult verbalization of car sound experiences, the section will analyze the distinction between who was allowed to speak about and interpret these sounds, and who was not. As an example we’ll look at the acoustic detection of engine malfunctions. In order to describe the symbolic struggle between car experts and lay motorists on who is the real car sound expert, this section will use both secondary literature and primary sources, such as trade journals, special interest journals for drivers, car manuals and technical handbooks. As long as we have recorded history, the sounding objects of everyday life have been used as musical instruments, most often for drumming. Yet, in the 20th century, the sounds and recorded sounds of mundane objects and machines even became centerpieces of aesthetic celebration and the basic elements of composition. The fourth section of our chapter only shortly reviews the well-known history of the Futurist music, musique concrète, the rise of electronic music and sound art. The larger part of this section will be devoted to how and why today’s sound artists, notably in the Netherlands, use everyday sounding objects in their compositions, and which strategies they deploy to make these sounds artistically interesting. Our discussion of their views will be based on a set of interviews with sound artists, and gives yet another twist on how sounding objects can speak to people. Despite the artistic relevance of the experiments with sounding objects in contemporary music, many members of concert hall audiences still consider such music “noise”. This brings us, in our fifth section, to the history of sounding objects as sources of noise, and more specifically to the history of traffic noise. This section will be largely based on Bijsterveld’s “Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture and Public Problems on Noise in the Twentieth Century” (MIT Press, 2008). It shows how traffic sound in Western cities became unwanted sound, how noise changed from being a chaos of sounds to a high level of sound energy, and how noise control started. The history of noise control will provide a natural bridge to the topic of our sixth section: the role of sounding objects in enabling acoustic privacy. By drawing on recent literature by Jonathan Sterne, Heike Weber and others on the history of headphone and mobile listening, work by Karin Bijsterveld on the rise of the car as acoustic cocoon (including the car radio), and primary sources on making the car interior a quieter space, this section clarifies how the car is not only a sounding object that emits sounds, yet also a sounding object that insulates drivers from environmental sound and has given them control over the recorded sounds they want to listen to. In this sense driving your encapsulated music chamber repeals social restrictions, and thus facilitates a listening experience which can’t be easily achieved at home. This has made the car into a mobile listening booth or acoustic cocoon, enhancing the kinesthetic experience of the car’s acceleration and movement. This section will underline, however, that it is never solely the technology that creates cultural practices such as acoustic cocooning in the car. Instead, consumers had and have to appropriate new audio technologies in existing practices, and may use new sounding objects in unexpected ways. Moreover, where listening to recorded sound crosses the boundaries between private and public space, it will highly probably become the subject of public debate. In our conclusions, we will return to the issue of the relevance of historical knowledge on sounding objects for sonic interaction design today, and will make the claims in our introduction more specific with help of the historical examples discussed in the middle sections of the chapter. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomobilgeräusche als Information: Über das geschulte Ohr des Kfz-Mechanikers
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Schoon, Andi; Volmar, Axel (Eds.) Das geschulte Ohr : Eine Kulturgeschichte der Sonifikation (2012)

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car: The example of the professionalization of the car mechanics craft during the interwar years shows how automobilists and mechanics ... [more ▼]

Automobile sounds contain information on the technical state of the car: The example of the professionalization of the car mechanics craft during the interwar years shows how automobilists and mechanics experienced car sounds and how they tried to read the contained information. In a first step two listening practices will be distinguished: monitory listening and diagnostic listening. Then, a characterization of the listening practices will be given. The contemporary sources reveal that automobilists and mechanics equally appropriated the listening practices as social practice. Furthermore, the entanglement of the two listening practices, which were difficult to separate in everyday life, played an important role. In a second step it will be shown that the societal attribution of the listening practices to the two actor groups changed during the interwar years. In the struggle between automobilists and mechanics the latter got the upper hand and successfully claimed that they exclusively possessed the trained ear for the practice of diagnostic listening. [less ▲]

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See detail“Sobbing, Whining, Rumbling” – Listening to Automobiles as Social Practice
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Pinch, Trevor; Bijsterveld, Karin (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (2012)

Who listened to cars in the 1920s? Who listened to the sound of its technical malfunctions in the 1950s? Who were the experts to diagnose failures by their ‘golden ears’ (Perlman 2004)? What role did ... [more ▼]

Who listened to cars in the 1920s? Who listened to the sound of its technical malfunctions in the 1950s? Who were the experts to diagnose failures by their ‘golden ears’ (Perlman 2004)? What role did listening play in early automobility? To answer these questions, my paper will analyze how different actor groups in Germany listened to automobiles between the end of World War I and roughly 1960. Further, I’ll focus on car technology’s middle ground – the space between production and consumption (Borg 2007: 1–12). In other words, I’ll closely examine the difficult relations between car users and auto mechanics. While in the 1920s car manufacturers started advertising the silent run of their engines, gears and suspensions, listening to the sound of their automobiles still played an essential role for car users to notice any technical malfunctions. The verbalization of the sound experience was a legitimate and crucial means for error detection. Motorists wrote, for example, to the magazine of the German automobile club, ‘Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung’, and tried to express their audio evidence with a wide range of metaphors or by relating it to other common sound experiences: their cars were ‘sobbing, whining or rumbling’. Still in the 1930s these descriptions were regularly printed in a column called the ‘letter box’ and experts gave technical advices on their basis. Two decades later things had changed: While listening was still a central means for detecting faults, it was reserved to the ‘trained ears’ of car mechanics only. Instead the professionals made a mock of drivers who listened to their cars: the trade journal ‘Krafthand’ told the story of a car owner who claimed that his car was making a strange splashing noise. But during the inspection the mechanics couldn’t find any faults. Later it was discovered that the sound was merely the echo of avenue trees, which irritated the driver while going past. The moral of articles like this one was, that the ears of ordinary motorists lacked the necessary training to listen to their automobiles. The paper will argue that the observed change of the notion of listening to cars can be explained by using Pierre Bourdieu’s ‘praxeology’: e.g., by conceptualising the here roughly sketched conversion as a symbolic struggle between motorists and auto mechanics about who is the real car sound expert. Then, the stories in the trade journal can be read as descriptions of the auto mechanics habitus, or more precisely: their bodily hexis (Bourdieu 1987: 739). The ability to diagnose malfunctions by listening to the sound of broken-down automobiles became part of the incorporated bodily knowledge of car mechanics. The struggle can thus be interpreted as a negotiation of status: the claim for the exclusive right to listen is then part of the sociotechnical distinction between lay motorists and expert car mechanics. The recurring descriptions of the motorists’ ‘bad ears’ are part of a discursive construction of normal motorists as lay users. Narrations like these are told to exclude motorists from the expert discourse. However motorists always heard their cars while driving, and they still had to listen whether their cars were running well. That is, on a practical level, mechanics couldn’t prevent users from listening, only on a symbolic level they denied access to the realm of car sound as means for technical diagnosis. Due to this contradictory status of listening as an indispensable means to detect malfunctions and listening as an expert tool for detailed diagnosis, users contested the expert authority of auto mechanics. For analyzing the role of listening in automobility I’ll investigate trade journals for auto mechanics, special interest journals for motorists, car manuals and technical handbooks. I’ll take into account editorials, articles and requests for reader’s experiences, advertisements and cartoons. As methodological means I’ll use thick description, and embed the struggle between motorists and mechanics into the historical context of early German automobility, e.g., the change in car functions and properties. For analyzing the empirical findings I’ll refer to the vocabulary of the theory of social practices. [less ▲]

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See detail“Notschrei eines Automobilisten” oder die Herausbildung des Kfz-Handwerks in Deutschland
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Technikgeschichte (2012), 79(3), 185206

Der folgende Beitrag beschreibt die Entwicklung des deutschen Kfz-Gewerbes in der Zwischenkriegszeit. Dazu untersucht er die soziale Praxis des Autoreparierens nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg und insbesondere ... [more ▼]

Der folgende Beitrag beschreibt die Entwicklung des deutschen Kfz-Gewerbes in der Zwischenkriegszeit. Dazu untersucht er die soziale Praxis des Autoreparierens nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg und insbesondere die Herausbildung des selbständigen Kfz-Handwerks in den 1930er Jahren. Von besonderem Interesse ist dabei das spannungsgeladene Verhältnis zwischen Automobilbesitzern und Mechanikern, sowie die konfliktreiche Beziehung zwischen spezialisierten Kfz-Mechanikern und den sogenannten Ad-hoc-Mechanikern. Erkenntnisleitendes Interesse ist dabei die Frage, wie sich im Untersuchungszeitraum die gesellschaftliche Zuschreibung von Reparaturkompetenz wandelte. Kernthese ist, dass sich in den 1930er Jahren die Regeln des Reparierens wandelten. Während die bürgerlichen Selbstfahrer nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg zunächst als dominante Akteure auftraten, die erfolgreich umfassende Fahrkompetenzen unter Einschluss des Reparierens für sich reklamierten, erlangten mit der Professionalisierung des Kfz-Handwerks die Kfz-Meister eine neue Autoritätsstellung. Ihre neue Konsekrationsmacht nutzten sie, um sowohl den Ad-hoc-Mechanikern als auch den Automobilisten ihre Reparaturkompetenz abzusprechen und beide Gruppen von der sozialen Praxis des Reparierens auszuschließen. [less ▲]

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See detailStandardizing Car Sound – Integrating Europe? International Traffic Noise Abatement and the Emergence of a European Car Identity, 1950–1975
Krebs, Stefan UL

in History and Technology (2012), 28(1), 25-47

The postwar motorization boom in Western Europe implicated rising complaints about road vehicle noise. By the end of the 1960s, traffic noise abatement became an urgent topic for European regulators and ... [more ▼]

The postwar motorization boom in Western Europe implicated rising complaints about road vehicle noise. By the end of the 1960s, traffic noise abatement became an urgent topic for European regulators and automobile engineers. The article investigates how car sound, its measurement and the standardization of measurement procedures developed during the first postwar decades, and how this relates to European integration. It shows that the standardization of car noise measurement affected market integration and the harmonization of technical regulation on the European level, thus shaping the political integration process. Furthermore, standardization and harmonization stimulated the circulation of knowledge and the rise of a new field of knowledge organized around the standardized and harmonized issues. Although the standardization and harmonization efforts did not result in the homogenization of European automobile technology, they did contribute to the narrative construction of a European car identity. [less ▲]

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See detailReview: Sonja Petersen (2011). Vom "Schwachstarktastenkasten" und seinen Fabrikanten: Wissensräume im Klavierbau, 1830 bis 1930. Münster et al.: Waxmann Verlag
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Icon : Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology (2012), 18

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See detailTowards a Cultural History of Car Sound(s)
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Norton, Peter; Mom, Gijs; Millward, Liz (Eds.) et al Mobility in History : Reviews and Reflections (2011)

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See detailThe French Quest for the Silent Car Body: Technology, Comfort and Distinction in the Interwar Period
Krebs, Stefan UL

in Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies (2011), 1(3), 64-89

Up until the First World War the open tourer had been the predominant car type in France. Then, during the 1920s, it was swiftly replaced by the closed sedan. The closed car revolution was accompanied by ... [more ▼]

Up until the First World War the open tourer had been the predominant car type in France. Then, during the 1920s, it was swiftly replaced by the closed sedan. The closed car revolution was accompanied by an intricate discourse on body noise and silence: motorists and journalists for example criticized noisy cars, test drivers praised the silence of certain car models, and automotive engineers investigated means to quieten car components with special consideration of the closed body. To unravel this multifaceted discourse the paper will describe the French quest for the silent car body and differentiate three different meanings of silence: mechanical silence, comfortable silence, and aristocratic silence. It will be argued that claims and judgments about automobile silence depended greatly on context and more general cultural connotations of noise and silence. The silent car body concomitantly symbolized engineering excellence, driving comfort, and social prestige. [less ▲]

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See detail“Eine Art von Gewissenserforschung”? – Konstruierte Brüche und Kontinuitäten an der Technischen Hochschule Aachen 1928–1950
Krebs, Stefan UL; Tschacher, Werner

in Dinckal, Noyan; Dipper, Christof; Mares, Detlev (Eds.) Selbstmobilisierung der Wissenschaft : Technische Hochschulen zur Zeit des Nationalsozialismus (2010)

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See detailDie Regeln der Eisenhüttenkunde : Genese und Struktur eines technikwissenschaftlichen Feldes 1870–1914
Krebs, Stefan UL

in NTM (2010), 18(1), 29-60

The ways in which the sciences have been delineated and categorized throughout history provide insights into the formation, stabilization, and establishment of scientific systems of knowledge. The ... [more ▼]

The ways in which the sciences have been delineated and categorized throughout history provide insights into the formation, stabilization, and establishment of scientific systems of knowledge. The Dresdener school’s approach for explaining and categorizing the genesis of the engineering disciplines is still valid, but needs to be complemented by further-reaching methodological and theoretical reflections. Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social practice is applied to the question of how individual agents succeed in influencing decisively a discipline’s changing object orientation, institutionalisation and self-reproduction. Through the accumulation of social, cultural and economic capital, they succeed in realising their own organisational ideas and scientific programs. Key concepts for the analysis include the struggle for power and resources, monopolies of interpretation, and the degree of autonomy. A case study from the Aachener Technische Hochschule shows that the consolidation of ferrous metallurgy can be conceived as a symbolical struggle between Fritz Wüst, professor for ferrous metallurgy, and the German Iron and Steel Institute, leading to a construction of a system of differences in which scientists accepted being scientists rather than entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs accepted becoming entrepreneurs and renounced science. [less ▲]

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See detailZwischen Markt und Labor : die zwei Gesichter des Hermann Schenck
Krebs, Stefan UL; Tschacher, Krebs

in Maier, Helmut; Zilt, Andreas; Rasch, Manfred (Eds.) 150 Jahre Stahlinstitut VDEh 1860-2010 (2010)

Unser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit der Doppelfunktion, die Hermann Schenck in den 50er und 60er Jahren bekleidete: war er doch als VDEh-Vorsitzender (1950-1968) der eisenhüttenmännischen Praxis ... [more ▼]

Unser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit der Doppelfunktion, die Hermann Schenck in den 50er und 60er Jahren bekleidete: war er doch als VDEh-Vorsitzender (1950-1968) der eisenhüttenmännischen Praxis verpflichtet, während er als Professor an der RWTH Aachen (1951-1968) die „aus dem Stande der Empirie zur Wissenschaft“ erhobene Eisenhüttenkunde vertrat. In seinen zahlreichen Reden und Aufsätzen thematisierte Schenck selbst immer wieder kehrend die schwierige Wechselwirkung von Theorie und Praxis. In seinem Amt als Vorsitzender machte sich Schenck die „Wahrung der Lebensfähigkeit [der] Eisenindustrie zur ersten Pflicht“ und ordnete damit die Wissenschaft dem unmittelbaren ökonomischen Nutzen unter. Als Mann der Praxis konstatierte er zudem eine weitgehende Sättigung wissenschaftlicher Durchdringung der Metallurgie von Eisen und Stahl und prognostizierte, dass es von dieser Seite her keine fundamentalen wissenschaftlichen Durchbrüche mehr geben werde. Vielmehr machte er sich für eine anwendungsorientierte Forschung stark, die den ökonomischen Zwängen folgend vorwiegend Fragen der betrieblichen Rationalisierung behandeln sollte. Als Mann der Wissenschaft plädierte er hingegen leidenschaftlich für den Erhalt und den Ausbau der eisenhüttenkundlichen Grundlagenforschung: man dürfe keine kurzsichtigen Nützlichkeitserwartungen an diese stellen. Stattdessen ging Schenck davon aus, dass die Metallurgie der Hüttenprozesse noch lange nicht beherrscht werde und deshalb allein ihre naturwissenschaftliche Erforschung die Fabrikationssicherheit in Zukunft gewährleisten könne. Als vermittelnde Position schlug Schenck unter anderem die Einbettung neuer Experten in die Betriebsorganisation vor, die – wissenschaftlich geschult – ausschließlich für den Transfer wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse in die betriebliche Praxis zuständig sein sollten. Als Kehrseite hätten die Betriebsleiter einen Teil ihrer Entscheidungskompetenzen aufzugeben. Einen weiteren Weg sah Schenck im Aufbau neuer betriebs- und sogar länderübergreifender Forschungsinstitute, die zentral und damit rationeller arbeiten sollten, um mit geringerem finanziellem Einsatz gleichwohl „ein genügendes Quantum geistiger, wissenschaftlicher Potenz, Erfindungsgabe und Phantasie zur Verfügung“ zu stellen. Eine solche Initiative stellte für ihn das im Oktober 1967 gegründete International Iron and Steel Institute dar. Damit ist das zu untersuchende zeitliche und inhaltliche Spannungsfeld beschrieben, in dem sich der Akteur Hermann Schenck in seinen verschiedenen Rollen bewegte. Die Quellenbasis der Untersuchung bilden zentrale Texte Schencks, die mit Blick auf ihre mitunter widersprüchliche Wissenschaftsprogrammatik befragt werden. [less ▲]

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