By David Pretel, Ian Inkster and Helge Wendt

Anyone teaching or researching the Latin American history of technology has probably faced the following criticism: Latin America is not home to an innovative technological culture; it is not a cohesive technological region – so why study this? These commonly held views may explain why (until recently) the history of technology in Latin America has been considered of secondary importance. That said, the interest and research in the role of technological change in the economic, political and social history of the region are not new nor small in scope. It is a growing field, particularly in regard to the development of English-language scholarship. Over the past three decades, there has been a new trend in the field, one that privileges the study of technologies in socio-cultural context, factoring in local communities of expertise, hybrid knowledge and domestic technical capacities in infrastructure, agricultural production, nuclear energy and computers, just to name the foremost sectors.