Change’s Challengers

Breakthrough Review in <i>Issues in Science and Technology</i>

“How might we responsibly guide and accelerate innovation against its enemies?” Breakthrough’s Alex Trembath tackles this question in a review of Calestous Juma’s Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies for the latest Issues in Science and Technology. Juma, director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, and recipient of the 2017 Breakthrough Paradigm Award, traces social resistance to innovation through a series of case studies, from coffee and the printing press to transgenic crops and genetically modified salmon. These obstacles, it turns out, have as much to do with new technologies as with the social and political factors that accompany their emergence. They also appear to go hand in hand with modernity itself. As a result, including diverse perspectives in our decision-making and creating inspiring visions for change will be essential for fostering innovation. We should also keep in mind, Trembath concludes, “that we have never been better equipped to pursue a bright technological future.”

Read the full review in Issues in Science and Technology here.