The Independent Inventor: Hero or Fool?

  • Ron Westrum Eastern Michigan University


In this paper I will tackle a subject often neglected when grand treatises on innovation are written: the independent inventor. Although independent inventors are not as significant as they once were, their death is, as Mark Twain said, responding to reports of his own demise, "very much exaggerated." Not only do independent inventors still invent, they are more successful than is generally thought. Here I would like to take the time to give an in-depth examination of this interesting species.

Author Biography

Ron Westrum, Eastern Michigan University
Ron Westrum is a Professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Eastern Michigan University. His areas of expertise include: the sociology of science and technology, innovation, systems safety, and the sociology of anomalous events.
How to Cite
Westrum, Ron. 2009. “The Independent Inventor: Hero or Fool?”. FORUM: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & The Arts, no. 08 (June).
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