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Innovations in Context Essay Given the ….School of Engineering Mission Statement, for your final essay you’ll be asked to write about an innovation. But first, consider these words from Langdon Winner’s essay, “Engineering Ethics and Political Imagination” written in 1990: We live in age of scientific technology. Many of the most significant ways in which old forms of power are reproduced and new ones created are reflected in the technologies we use. To a great extent the possibilities of social and political life in the twentieth century are defined by technological opportunities and constraints. Whether we are to have a good society or a bad one is powerfully influenced by the technologies we develop and put to use. For that reason the role of engineers and technical professionals is crucial. They are intimately involved in maintaining key social patterns and in inventing new ones as well. In that work they become, in effect, unelected delegates and representatives of the rest of us, charged with the work of building basic structures of our social and political future. If it turns out that they lack vision, lack the ability to make choices that express not only knowledge but also personal strength born of wisdom, our society is headed for trouble. (57-58) Following Winner’s thinking, you’ll need to do much more than just give the reader historical and background information on the innovation – this isn’t a report, it’s an essay. So to construct this essay, you’ll want to consider the social, cultural, ethical, and/or political ramifications of the innovation (and perhaps consider how this innovation helps us understand the culture of “innovation”). For instance, smartphones (don’t pick the smartphone: it’s low-hanging fruit) have surely benefitted our day-to-day communications but they’ve also (especially according to writers such as Sherry Turkle) affected how we converse with one another, and, at least from her perspective, led to a decrease in empathy. Therefore, in researching this innovation not only would you have to do background research on the smartphone, but you would also want to explore larger conceptual ideas like empathy and perhaps its relation to technology. Drawing on the research methods you’ve used thus far in Writing the Essay and in your Cultural Conversation essay, your task in research will be to go beyond the innovation itself and connect it to larger social, ethical, and political ideas that you can then discuss. (You want to go beyond just telling us that your chosen innovation has positives and negatives and that assessing the values associated with an innovation simply depends upon your perspective. That isn’t much of a claim and it’s a gross oversimplification.) You are encouraged to think beyond objects or products of technology as innovations: designs, theories, and artistic and political movements can be seen as innovations as well. In the end, you will be asked to compose an essay that explores how your chosen innovation has redefined the terms by which we understand and relate to the outside world and that reflects the social, political, and ethical changes that result from this innovation. Requirements: 1,800 – 2,300 words (6 – 8 pages). At least five sources from your own research which might include essays from the Brooklyn Reader or from the Resources folder. Also include MLA in-text citation with a Works Cited page.