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ERIC Number: EJ1099058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
From Bacon to Bush (Vannevar, Not G. W.): Common Ground between Useful Knowledge and Red Brick Institutions
Storella, Elaine
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n2 Spr 2007
The theory about the power of useful knowledge to improve the human condition was published in Francis Bacon's "Novum organon" and his "New Atlantis" in the seventeenth century. The connection between useful knowledge and red brick institutions from University College in London to Framingham State College and MIT in Massachusetts began in the nineteenth century and continues to this date. University College London was founded in 1826. The useful knowledge connections across the Atlantic began approximately ten years later with a gift of $10,000 from a New England industrialist and a matching grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The sum funded the first public teacher training school in the United States. In 1889, a Boston newspaper headlined "Its Semi-Centennial, the Oldest Normal School in America, Framingham [State College] Thronged with Alumni and Friends." That year also marked the loss of a valued member of the faculty, Professor Atkinson from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Commonwealth had enacted legislation to incorporate MIT in 1861. Nor was Atkinson the only link between Framingham State College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There would be others including Vannevar Bush. After earning his doctorate in engineering at MIT, Bush joined its Electrical Engineering Department. As a young professor in the 1920s, he built the most powerful computer in the world and co-founded Raytheon Company. The latter engineered the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration's) guidance and navigation system that made it possible for the first man to walk on the Moon and return safely to Earth. In his 1945 essay "As We May Think", Bush urged the "men of science" to take up the task of making "more accessible our bewildering store of knowledge." His biographer has written that Bush's words "contained the germ of what would become the Internet." In 1970, Framingham State College's most famous graduate Christa Corrigan McAuliffe received her bachelor's degree in education. Sixteen years later, the teacher-astronaut joined her Challenger colleagues on a NASA mission from Earth to the Moon. The McAuliffe Center for Education and Excellence at FSC is dedicated to her spirit. Its motto is a quote from the teacher-astronaut: "I Touch the Futureā€¦I Teach." For more information, one can link to and follow what MIT's Vannevar Bush called "associative trails" to connect useful knowledge and red brick institutions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A