Book Recommendations

Book Title: Innovation and its Enemies - Why People Resist New Technologies

Author: Calestous Juma

Summary: Drawing from nearly 600 years of technology history, Innovation and Its Enemies identifies the tension between the need for innovation and the pressure to maintain continuity, social order, and stability as one of today’s biggest policy challenges. Using detailed case studies of coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals, the book shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace. It 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. Ultimately, it 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...I loved reading it.” --Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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