SVITLANA RUDA and VIRA GAMALIIA
Kyiv State University of Infrastructure and Technology, Department of Philosophy and the History of Science and Technology, Kiev (Ukraine)
On the Question of the Institutionalization of the History of Technology in Ukraine
In 1928, Viktor Danilevsky founded the first History of Technology Department in Ukraine at the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute. This was in response to the challenges of those times. The Soviet Union was undergoing rapid industrialization during the 1920’s, and there was an increased interest in the history of technology.
The process of institutionalizing the teaching of the history of technology has continued in independent Ukraine. In 2004, under the leadership of Leonid Besov, the Department of the History of Science and Technology was established at the National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”. In 2018, it was merged with two other departments (cultural history and political history) into the Department of Ukrainian Studies, Culture Studies and Science History. Courses on the history of science and technology, the history of engineering education and others are taught in this department.
The Department of Philosophy and the History of Science and Technology was established at the Kyiv State University of Infrastructure and Technology in Kiev in 2014. It is headed by Vira Gamaliia. Here, the main special courses are the “Philosophy of Science and Technology” and the “History of the Development of Transport.”
In universities of a wider profile, those combining natural and human sciences, separate courses on the history of technology are also taught, but there are no special departments. How can we explain the priority of technical universities in the organization of departments for the study of this discipline? Apparently, now, like a hundred years ago, the challenge of our time is especially acute: technology has permeated into all spheres of social life. Its role in the formation of students’ universal humanistic values at a technical university is extremely large. Interdisciplinary and general education in the humanities, including the history and philosophy of science and technology, should contribute to the formation of the personality of a 21st-century engineer – the dominant type in modern industrial society – armed with the experience of past eras and the innovative requirements of modernity.