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.
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.

Author Bio

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.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms
  • Introduction
  • 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?
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography


'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.'
M S Swaminathan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

'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, The Open University


Publication Date: 10 September 2009
160 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848132016
eBook ePub: 9781848137776
eBook PDF: 9781848132023
eBook Kindle: 9781780327211
Library Edition: 9781848132009

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