Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Robyn Lisa Hohauser
Title:The Social Construction of Technology: The Case of LSD
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Science and Technology Studies
Committee Chair: Ellsworth R. Fuhrman
Chair's email:FUHRMAN@VT.EDU
Committee Members:
Keywords:LSD, Social Construction, Technology
Date of defense:February, 1995
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


In this study, I use SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) theories to trace the history of lysergic acid diethylamide-25, which is commonly known as LSD. I show how the technological system of LSD corresponds to phases designated by SCOT theorist Thomas Hughes, specifically invention, development, innovation, growth, competition, and consolidation. I explain the importance of Timothy Leary and the CIA in the social construction of the LSD system, and their influences on the transformation of LSD from a chemical technology to a highly controversial drug. Finally, I discuss the fate of LSD research today, its usage among members of the public, especially youngsters, and the usefulness of SCOT theories for this study.

List of Attached Files


The author grants to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.