£14.99 | $22.95
10 September 2009
198mm x 129mm
Science and Technology for Development
How can science realize its potential and help us tackle global inequality, environmental change and crippling poverty? How can more appropriate technologies be developed for those most in need? Science has long promised much -- new crops, new medicines, new sources of energy, new means of communication -- but the potential of new technologies has frequently bypassed the poorest people and the poorest countries.
In Science and Technology for Development, James Smith explores the complex relationship between society and technology, and the potential for science to make sustainable contributions to global development. Drawing on case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia, the author argues that we need to think carefully about science and development, otherwise the perpetual promise of future technological breakthroughs may simply work to distance meaningful development from the present.
This book is essential reading for all students of development.
'This is one of the rare books I have read which brings out the complex web of relationships among science, technology and development with great clarity and originality.' - Prof M S Swaminathan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation
'This book is part of a series designed to provide comprehensive and concise introductions to key debates and issues around themes of development studies. In this case Dr Smith has focused his attention on science and technology development in and for poor countries with special attention given to sub-Saharan Africa and agricultural development. The author covers in some detail much of the current debate on GM crops, environmental stress and climate change impacts. He also cautions us to beware the tendency of science and its practitioners to see science as some kind of “quick fix” for problems that are usually very complex and context dependent. In reality he argues, science is only part of the solution. If badly deployed it can actually make things worse and should only be used with a full understanding of the wider social context it is dealing with. An impressive feature of this book is its use of up-to-date case research to illustrate issues covered and points made. Much of the text has been designed for postgraduate students but actually the author engages strongly with an agenda that relates to the professional interests of a wide range of policy analysts and decision makers, particularly those concerned with overseas aid. The text will therefore be of great value also in this sense and for relevant continuing professional development courses. This is a book that has long been needed. It is short but succinct. In simple language it shows the reader that there is no substitute for careful analysis of the local context before making interventions. I shall certainly use it in my own courses and training materials but I imagine it will be extensively used in overseas universities and related institutions.' - Norman Clark, Professor of Innovation Systems and Development, Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, The Open University, Milton Keynes
Table of Contents
1. Rethinking Technology for Development
2. The Institutionalisation and Internationalization of Science
3. Making Technology Work for the Poor?
4. Governing Technologies for Development
5. Conclusion: Can Technology Transform Development?
About the Author:
James Smith is co-director of and a senior lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a director at the ESRC Innogen Research Centre at Edinburgh and a visiting fellow in development policy and practice at the Open University. His research explores the relationships between knowledge, science and development, particularly in relation to agricultural research and how it is practised. He has worked with many international organisations and research centres including Oxfam, DFID, IDRC and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research.
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