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Everett M. Rogers

15 January, 2016 - 09:14

Rogers was born in Carroll, Iowa in 1931. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University. For two years during the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Air Force. Interestingly, in 1966, he worked on some family planning communication projects in Korea.

One interesting thing worthy mentioning is that Rogers’ father was a farmer who resisted adopting the hybrid seed corn (Singhal, 2005, p.287). Due to the drought in Iowa in 1936, the Rogers’ farm withered, which made Rogers personally involved in the diffusion research. In the 1950's, Iowa State University was a perfect place for studying the diffusion of innovations, as the school's program focused on a rural sociology, agriculture, and statistics. The experience there led Rogers to dive into the research about why some innovations are adopted while others are ignored. Employed by Michigan State University in 1962, Rogers obtained opportunity to study diffusion in developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Meanwhile, he published the book, Diffusion of Innovations, which earned him his academic reputation. Rogers’ comprehensive insights in the book helped to expand diffusion theory. The book has become the standard textbook on diffusion theory and it creats applications of diffusion theory in such fields as geography, economics, psychology, political science, and, as previously mentioned, communication. Rogers retired from University of New Mexico in 2004 because he was suffering from kidney disease. He died on October 21, 2005.