Andrew L. Russell

"Maintenance and repair, the building of infrastructures, the mundane labour that goes into sustaining functioning and efficient infrastructures, simply has more impact on people’s daily lives than the vast majority of technological innovations."

Current Place
Utica, New York, United States of America


In June 2016 I began a new position as Professor and Dean of Arts & Sciences at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, New York. Trained as an historian, my research and publication interests include the history of technology, the history and societal aspects of computing, organizations and governance, and standardization. I am the author of Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2014), and co-editor (with Robin Hammerman) of Ada’s Legacy: Cultures of Computing from the Victorian to the Digital Age (ACM Books, 2015). In April 2016 my colleague Lee Vinsel and I co-organized a conference at Stevens Institute of Technology titled “The Maintainers.” We published an essay in Aeon, “Hail the Maintainers,” where we outline the origins of the conference and some of our thoughts on why it makes sense for people who care about technology to make a conceptual turn from innovation to maintenance. We were pleasantly surprised that these activities triggered some broader discussions in media outlets such as the Atlantic, the Guardian, Fortune, Le Monde, the American Conservative, Design Observer, La Nacion, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and elsewhere.

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