Leonardo da Vinci has long been considered a true Renaissance man. Jesuit Father John Staudenmaier is following in his footsteps. Fr. Staudenmaier is currently the Assistant to the President for Mission and Identity at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), he was recently honored with the Leonardo da Vinci Medal by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). The highest recognition from the Society, the medal is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the history of technology, through research, teaching, publications and other activities.
Founded in 1958, the Society for the History of Technology numbers approximately 1,500 members. An international organization dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economics, the environment, science and the arts, for many years, Fr. Staudenmaier edited SHOT’s quarterly journal, Technology and Culture, while also teaching courses in history at UDM.
At the awards ceremony held at UDM, Fr. Staudenmaier talked about “several deep loves in my life,” in particular, what he calls his prayer life and his commitment to the secular academy. When receiving the award, Staudenmaier described “how my prayer life and the academy are present in my self-awareness as two commitments that do not, however, live in schizoid compartments, nor does either trump the other.”
Staudenmaier’s talk was featured in a UDM podcast which is available on their website here. His remarks are preceded by excerpts of the introduction by Arne Kaijser, former president of the Society for the History of Technology and 2011 chair of the Leonardo da Vinci Medal Committee.