Forthcoming book by Calestous Juma: Innovation and Its Enemies
|Calestous Juma‘s new book bears a compelling cover image: a modern lightbulb shattering a traditional one from within.
Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, forthcoming in July 2016 by Oxford University Press, shows that many debates over new technologies are framed in the context of risks to moral values, human health, and environmental safety. But it argues that behind these legitimate concerns often lie deeper, but unacknowledged, socioeconomic considerations.
The book explains the roots of resistance to new technologies and why such resistance is not always futile. Juma draws from nearly 600 years of economic history to show how the balance of winners and losers shapes technological controversies. He outlines policy strategies for inclusive innovation to reduce the risks and maximize the benefits of new technologies.
Using detailed case studies of coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals, Juma shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace. He uses these lessons from history to contextualize contemporary debates surrounding technologies such as artificial intelligence, online learning, 3D printing, gene editing, robotics, drones, and renewable energy.
Innovation and Its Enemies ultimately makes the case for shifting greater responsibility to public leaders to work with scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to manage technological change, make associated institutional adjustments, and expand public engagement on scientific and technological matters.
“[An] outstanding treatise on how new technologies are created and why they are so often not initially accepted by society,” says Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT. “I loved reading it.”
Calestous Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of Science, Technology, Globalization, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University. He was a 2014-2015 Visiting Professor in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP).
Table of Contents:
1. Gales of Creative Destruction