Energy Studies

19 January 2008 at 2:24 pm 1 comment

I bought a few books at the MIT Press Bookstore yesterday by Vaclav Smil, a professor at the University of Manitoba who does interdisciplinary studies of energy and the environment.  The first one, Energies:  An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization, is very much like the book I wanted to write about “Energonomics” insofar as it attempts to bridge the gaps in the sciences of modern energy studies:

Its basic idea is to offer a comprehensive and integrated survey of the energies shaping our world, from the Sun to pregnancy, from bread to microchips.  Naturally, such a sweep demands both a logical progression and selectivity.

So he begins with planetary energy flows, moves to plant and animal life, which leads to “human energetics” and then to energy usage throughout the history of society and culture.  While Smil focuses primarily on science, I am interested in bridging the science of energy flows with the social sciences and humanities.  For example, what is the energy value of a particular idea?  How do ideas (or “memes”) attract the energy of individuals such that they debate, fight, even die for them?  What is the science and sociology of such transmission?  So there might be a place for energonomics within this field.


Entry filed under: academia, books, energonomics, memes, science.

Eudaimonics Poor Energy Management

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. The Energonomics of Leadership « Scholaris Erratus  |  12 March 2008 at 12:19 am

    […] brain-energy in the mind-brain of another on a certain subject or meme.  I have wondered about the sociology of mass movements, whether for the good (MLK) or for evil (Hitler) and how it is that leaders are able to focus the […]


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