Skip to main content

Florman, Samuel C(harles) 1925-

FLORMAN, Samuel C(harles) 1925-

PERSONAL: Born January 19, 1925, in New York, NY; son of Arthur M. and Hannah (Weingarten) Florman; married Judith Hadas (a teacher), August 19, 1951; children: David, Jonathan. Education: Dartmouth College, B.S., 1944, C.E., 1973; Columbia University, M.A., 1947.

ADDRESSES: Home—55 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023. Office—Kreisler Borg Florman, 97 Montgomery St., Scarsdale, NY 10583. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Associated with Hegeman Harris Co. in Venezuela, 1948, Thompson-Starrett Co., New York, NY, 1949-53, and Joseph P. Blitz, Inc., New York, NY, 1953-55; Kreisler Borg Florman Construction Co., Scarsdale, NY, principal, 1955—; writer. Hospital for Joint Disease, New York, NY, trustee, 1976; New York Hall of Science, trustee, 1996; Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, Board of Overseers. Military service: U.S. Navy, 1944-46.

MEMBER: American Society of Civil Engineers (fellow), American Society for Engineering Education, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Academy of Engineering, New York Academy of Sciences.

AWARDS, HONORS: Stevens Award, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1976, for articles and books dealing with the relationship of technology to the general culture; Ralph Coats Roe Medal, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1982; Robert Fletcher award, Thayer School of Engineering, 1983.

WRITINGS:

Engineering and the Liberal Arts, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 1968.

The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1976.

Blaming Technology: The Irrational Search for Scapegoats, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1981.

The Civilized Engineer, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1987.

The Introspective Engineer, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

The Aftermath: A Novel of Survival, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributing editor of Harper's magazine. Contributor of over one hundred articles to professional journals and popular magazines.

SIDELIGHTS: Samuel Florman is a writer as well as a practicing engineer and vice president of Kreisler Borg Florman Construction Company in Scarsdale, New York. As a writer he is best known for his popularization of the engineering profession in such books as The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, and The Civilized Engineer.

Florman is not only an optimistic supporter for technology; he also firmly believes that engineers should be well educated in the humanities as well. In an interview with IEEE Technology & Science Magazine, Florman told Terri Bookman, "I think that engineers have been short-changed by their advisors and by their own inhibitions and by their prospective employers. And then, sometimes, they wake up and they're forty and they regret they didn't take humanities courses, or when they're in their thirties, they're thinking of leadership participation in society and wish they had taken more of certain types of courses. When they get older, they think about the meaning of life, they wish even more that they had taken these courses."

The main themes of Florman's books are engineering and the humanities, society's perceptions of engineers and engineering, the relationship between engineering and nature, ethical issues for engineers, and the changing attitudes toward technology.

Florman addressed the public's fears of technology in his 1981 book Blaming Technology: The Irrational Search for Scapegoats. Florman told Bookman, "Well, in the 1960s, young people, in particular, were rebelling against a lot of things, and technology, seeming to be a part of what the 'establishment' was, came in for its share of blame."

The Introspective Engineer asked rhetorical questions about the absence of engineers from popular culture and why engineers, who have clearly revolutionized our lives, are never heroes of novels. Florman remedied the situation in 2001 with the publication of his first novel, The Aftermath: A Novel of Survival. In this end-of-civilization scenario, a comet has hit Earth and the only survivors are in small communities in South Africa and Madagascar and a group of engineers on a seminar cruise in the Indian Ocean.

Since almost everything is destroyed, the Africans and the engineers get together and build a new civilization from the Stone Age up. Jackie Cassada wrote inLibrary Journal, "The author of several paeans to the science of engineering (The Introspective Engineer), first novelist Florman puts his talent as a raconteur to good use in a tale reminiscent of the expository fiction of sf's early writers."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Booklist, March 1, 1996, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Introspective Engineer, p. 1113.

Changing Times, April, 1983, review of Blaming Technology: The Irrational Search for Scapegoats, p. 81.

Chemical & Engineering News, July 19, 1982, William Spindel, review of Blaming Technology, p. 45.

Commentary, June, 1982, Jeffrey Marsh, review of Blaming Technology, p. 67.

Commonweal, December 18, 1987, Carl Mitcham, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 758.

Fortune, February 22, 1982, Harry Schwartz, review of Blaming Technology, p. 161.

Isis, December, 1998, John M. Staudenmaier, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 717.

Issues in Science and Technology, fall, 1990, Joseph Bordogna, Paul E. Torgersen, John A. Alic, Richard B. Gold, Don Weinert, comments on Samuel C. Florman's article "Producing Engineers for the 'Real World', " in Issues in Science and Technology, spring, 1990 (letter to the editor), p. 20.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1981, review of Blaming Technology, p. 916; March 1, 1996, review of The Introspective Engineer, p. 1113; October 1, 2001, review of The Aftermath: A Novel of Survival, p. 1381.

Library Journal, October 1, 1981, Daniel La Rossa, review of Blaming Technology, p. 1911; March 1, 1982, review of Blaming Technology, p. 51; June 1, 1987, R. E. Bilstein, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 123; March 1, 1998, Ellis Mount, Barbara A. List, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 33; December, 2001, Jackie Cassada, review of The Aftermath, p. 181.

New Scientist, April 27, 1996, Cliff Friend, review of The Introspective Engineer, p. 48.

New York Times, December 5, 1982, review of Blaming Technology, p. 56; January 9, 1983, review of Blaming Technology, p. 39.

New York Times Book Review, December 20, 1981, Lynn White, Jr., review of Blaming Technology, p. 5; February 9, 1997, review of The Introspective Engineer, p. 32; April 28, 2002, Gerald Jonas, review of The Aftermath, p. 20.

Public Works, September, 1982, review of Blaming Technology, p. 27.

Publishers Weekly, July 24, 1981, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Blaming Technology, p. 140; February 13, 1987, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 83; November 12, 2001, review of The Aftermath, p. 41.

Reason, December, 1996, review of The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, p. 42.

Science Books and Films, spring, 1982, review of Blaming Technology, p. 203; spring, 1987, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 37.

Science News, March 30, 2002, review of The Aftermath, p. 207.

SciTech Book News, May, 1987, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 30; November, 1996, review of The Introspective Engineer, p. 81.

Technology and Culture, January, 1989, Elting Morison, review of The Civilized Engineer, p. 138; October, 1997, Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher, review of The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, p. 1022.

online

Al Teich's Technology and the Future Toolkit Web site, http://www.alteich.com/ (May 1, 2002), articles and an interview with Samuel Florman.*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Florman, Samuel C(harles) 1925-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Florman, Samuel C(harles) 1925-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/florman-samuel-charles-1925

"Florman, Samuel C(harles) 1925-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved November 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/florman-samuel-charles-1925

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.