- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Technology & Policy – A New Belfer Center Blog

Spring 2012

Technology+Policy | Innovation@Work offers a platform for exchange of views on matters at the intersection of science, technology and pcublic policy. Principal bloggers are Harvard faculty and fellows from across the Belfer Center, the Kennedy School, and Harvard University. Each is deeply engaged in research and teaching on the implications for science, society and politics from advances in science and technology, and innovations in the field and lab. The blog is hosted by the Belfer Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program, the Kennedy School’s principal center for such policy analysis.

Technology+Policy | Innovation@Work will focus on topical and timely issues at the intersection of science and technology policy and innovation. The blog, edited by Zachary Tumin, a special project assistant to the STPP director, covers four principal policy arenas:

  • Energy and the Environment. Assessing the impact of policy and technology  on innovation for improving energy access and security, adapting to climate change, and reducing the impacts to health and environment from industrial activity.
  • International Security. Explicating new directions in technology and their impacts for policy in the global security arena, including compliance regimes under international treaties, the disposition and management of nuclear materials, the advent of new military technologies, and the weaponization of space.
  • Information and Communications Technology. A separate dedicated blog focusing on policy areas where information and communications technology is changing our world: democracy and civic engagement; social media and the organization; e-government and the reform and redesign of service delivery; and global economic development.
  • Globalization, Development and Innovation. Exploring the impacts and policy implications from advances in science and technology for developing nations.

Following are excerpted examples of recent entries, available in full at: http://www.technologyandpolicy.org/


Evidence Stacking Up Against Biotechnology Critics

By Calestous Juma (February 13, 2012)

“What is heartening is that much of Africa’s biotechnology research is focusing on seeking local solutions such as pest control, disease management, drought tolerance and overall adaptation to climate change. It is part of a larger agenda of reviving agricultural research and involves investments in other sectors such as infrastructure. … [T]he world needs to use the full range of technologies available today to sustain agricultural production. Ideological arguments that focus on a single solution are likely to undermine global food security.”

Are Digital Textbooks the New “Horseless Carriage”?

By Chris Dede (February 6, 2012)

“And now we have ‘digital textbooks’ as our official label for what modern interactive media can accomplish in education, touted by federal and industry advocates.  My concern with this label is more than academic quibbling about how to name a suite of profound innovations.  In part because of mislabeling, people tend to underestimate the potential impact of technological breakthroughs. …Framing the new in terms of the old blinds us to both the opportunities and the challenges that an innovation poses.”

Saving the Internet: Let a Billion Servers Bloom

By Dave Winer (January 28, 2012)

“Yes, the governments can shut down anything they want. But, as I’ve pleaded elsewhere, if we force them to shut down the Internet to control the flow of information, everyone will know. If there is an ability to shut off communities selectively, that would be hard to detect. Clarity on whether the Internet is up or down is something we should value and protect.”

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Technology & Policy – A New Belfer Center Blog.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Spring 2012).