Space Studies Colloquium Series to feature Dr. Michael Neufeld on November 8th
The Fall 2010 Colloquium Series focuses on the general theme “Space Policy” and features several leading experts in the field.
The fourth and final presentation in this series will be presented by Dr. Michael Neufeld, Chair of the Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic: Wernher von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War
Place: Ryan Hall 111
Date: Monday, November 8, 2010
Time: 4:00 PM
Wernher von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War
Wernher von Braun is probably the most famous and controversial rocket engineer of all time. In his lecture, Michael Neufeld discusses von Braun's biography, both his outstanding accomplishments as an engineering manager and space visionary in Germany and the U.S., and the Faustian bargain he made with the Third Reich, which led him to become a party member, SS officer and decision-maker in the exploitation of concentration-camp labor. It was a bargain that haunted him even later in his charmed life, when aspects of his Nazi past began to resurface. Of those who remember him today, most would like to pigeonhole him simply as a villain or a hero. In fact, he is a fascinating and disturbing combination of both, and his career says much about the roles and temptations of engineers and scientists in the twentieth century.
Bio: Michael J. Neufeld is Chair of the Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. He has four history degrees, including a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1984. Dr. Neufeld has written three books, The Skilled Metalworkers of Nuremberg (1989), The Rocket and the Reich (1995), which won two book prizes, and Von Braun (2007), which has won three awards, and has edited two others. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, notably on the History Channel, C-SPAN, PBS and NPR, as well as the BBC, the German ZDF and other foreign outlets.
Those unable to attend in person may view the live Webcast by using one of the links at