Matthias Heymann publishes "Comments on Rémi Gandoin, A call to historicize wind and site studies"
Journal of Energy History/Revue d'histoire de l'énergie, vol. 2, issue 2 (April 2019)
Wind and site studies have not been treated in much detail in historical work about wind energy technology and wind power use. I appreciate the authors’ observations and arguments and the questions he raises. The author is not a historian, but an engineer. We had a useful and productive exchange, after I wrote a review and allowed the editors to reveal my identity. The exchange was productive and very agreeable. Both of us – historian and engineer – learned from it. I thank the author for his openness and interest in historical work. Historians of science and technology have ample and not always fruitful experience with engineers. Some engineers seek to challenge historians’ accounts for their critical narratives and the lack of appropriate detail and appreciation of engineering accomplishments. This exchange was clearly different. The broader message to make is that conversations across disciplinary boundaries are necessary and profitable. Fruitful they can be, if the dialogue is on both sides not understood as an opportunity of teaching (or convincing) the other, but of exploring and learning from each other. Asking questions, like the author has amply done in his article, is not the worst for a start.