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The Man Who Saw TomorrowThe Life and Inventions of Stanford R. Ovshinsky$
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Lillian Hoddeson and Peter Garrett

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037532

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037532.001.0001

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The ECD Community: A Social Invention (1965–2007)

The ECD Community: A Social Invention (1965–2007)

(p.147) 7 The ECD Community: A Social Invention (1965–2007)
The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

Lillian Hoddeson

Peter Garrett

The MIT Press

This chapter portrays the ways Stan and Iris Ovshinsky made ECD an expression of their progressive social values as well as an advanced R&D organization. A social democratic enclave sustained by capitalism, ECD tried to maintain an egalitarian, supportive culture even as it grew to over a thousand employees. ECD enabled staff members to develop unsuspected talents, with support for continuing education and the appointment of women and minorities to important positions. Its democratic corporate culture also enabled it to develop a flexible research community, where scientists moved among concurrent programs to contribute wherever they were needed. Its research staff was joined by a distinguished group of consultants, which included Nobel laureates like I. I. Rabi, Sir Nevill Mott, and John Bardeen, as well as several talented younger scientists. ECD also reached out into the larger community with its Institute for Amorphous Studies, which sponsored public talks on many subjects.

Keywords:   Energy Conversion Devices, democratic corporate culture, I. I. Rabi, Sir Nevill Mott, John Bardeen, Institute for Amorphous Studies

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