Amy E. Slaton is a professor in the Department of History. She holds a PhD in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught courses in the history of American science, technology, and architecture, as well as in U.S. labor history and race relations. Professor Slaton directed Drexel's Master's Program in Science, Technology and Society from 2001 to 2009 and has been a visiting associate professor at Haverford College.
Professor Slaton has long been interested in the social character of technical expertise and work. She has written on the history of building technologies and materials testing, with a focus on who gets credit when things go well, and who gets blamed when structures and materials fail. Her book, Reinforced Concrete and the Modernization of American Building, 1900-1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), integrated the histories of materials testing, construction labor, building codes and standards, and aesthetic change surrounding the introduction of commercial reinforced concrete in the United States. Professor Slaton is also interested in understandings of technical aptitude in American manufacturing and engineering more generally, with particular emphasis on the role of race. Her most recent book is Race, Rigor, and Selectivity in U.S. Engineering: The History of an Occupational Color Line (Harvard University Press, 2010).
Professor Slaton produces the blog, STEMequity.com, centered on equity in technical education and workforce issues, and her commentaries have appeared in Inside Higher Ed, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and other outlets. She is currently working on a study, with Professor Mary Ebeling, of America's optimistic view of nano-science and -technology as sources of new jobs and economic growth.