“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Calestous Juma died on December 15, 2017 at age 64 following a lengthy illness. He continued his work until his final days.
Calestous Juma was Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He also directed the Center's Agricultural Innovation Policy in Africa and Health Innovation Policy in Africa projects, both funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Professor Juma also served as Faculty Chair of the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program and the Innovation for Economic Development and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa executive programs.
Juma was previously Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi. He co-chaired the African Union's High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation. He was also on the jury of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, and the Africa Food Prize.
He was an elected member of several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences. Juma also served on the boards of several international bodies including the Aga Khan University and the Pan-African University.
With a doctorate in science and technology policy studies, Juma wrote widely on science, technology, and environment and won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. His new book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His current book projects cover regional integration in Africa and innovation for economic development. He also had a broad following at @Calestous on Twitter.Last Updated: Dec 18, 2017, 12:22pm