Artifact Details


From the UNIVAC to Web 2.0 : politics, computers and the making of a 21st century presidency

Catalog Number



Moving image




Bounds, Tucker, Panelist
Feinberg, Sarah, Panelist
Lehane, Christopher, Panelist
Tedlow, Richard S., Moderator


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California





Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


"What we are seeing in the world is the balance of power shifting. The old rules just don’t always apply anymore and a lot of the new rules are being written by people that don’t even know they are writing them."

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
Digital Life Design Conference Keynote
January 24, 2012

Dateline: November 4, 1952: UNIVAC Predicts an Eisenhower Win! Sixty years ago this November, public opinion polls gave the 1952 Presidential election to Adlai Stevenson. UNIVAC, star of CBS’ election coverage (along with a new anchor, Walter Cronkite), predicted an Eisenhower landslide. UNIVAC was right. The computer’s TV debut captivated an audience already enthralled by technology and confronting new tools—and new terminology—almost daily. "UNIVAC" became synonymous with "computer" for a generation of Americans.

Although much has changed since 1952, technology and politics remain closely intertwined. We’ll look at the history of using computing to poll and predict election outcomes, as well as how campaigns have used technology, as the Obama team did in 2008, to win elections. What are the implications of technology-driven campaigns and the electorate’s use of social media on our republic? What are the positives and negatives associated with all of this connectivity?

The panel will also look beyond U.S. borders to discuss the possible ramifications of the Arab Spring and whether other global political shifts may be looming. Easy, global access to social media tools has definitely created a power shift – from institutions to individuals. But what does that shift really mean – what are the larger implications to global stability?

Please join us for compelling discussion led by our moderator, Richard Tedlow, and his distinguished panel. We plan to make use of social media ourselves to capture your questions for the panel in the days leading up to the event.

We are very pleased that KQED Radio will be onsite taping this event for future broadcast. We are also very pleased that C-SPAN will be taping this event and will broadcast as part of their prime time coverage in the coming weeks.

This event is part of our 2012 lecture series celebrating Revolutionaries, featuring conversations with and about some of the most distinguished thinkers in the computing field. The Revolutionaries lecture series complements the launch of the Computer History Museum's permanent exhibition, Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing.

Watch this event on CHM's YouTube channel:



Collection Title

CHM Lecture Collection

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