Sociologist Challenges Space Shuttle Disaster

Boston College sociologist Diane Vaughan, whohas spent the past nine years investigating NASA and its organizationalculture, will speak at Hamilton College on Monday, April 8, at 4:15 p.m, in theChemistry Auditorium. The lecture, "Sensational Cases, Flawed Theories: TheChallenger Launch Decision," is free and open to the general public.

Her new book, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture andDeviance at NASA, sheds light on why NASA managers went ahead with theChallenger launch when, in retrospect, there was overwhelming evidenceof the undue danger of doing so. Vaughan also states that the key tounderstanding how the disaster happened lays deep within the culture of NASA.

The lecture is sponsored by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center, theOffice of the Dean of the Faculty and the departments of anthropology,chemistry, economics, physics, sociology and rhetoric and communication.

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