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[liberationtech] Science and innovation are key to improving lives in the developing world, claim top academics

Yosem Companys ycompanys at
Thu Jan 14 22:40:23 PST 2010

Compliments of Professor Calestous Juma at the Harvard K-School...


Science and innovation are key to improving lives in the developing world,
claim top academics

*A new book by two of the UK’s leading international development thinkers is
a landmark in development thinking and practice.*

*Science and Innovation for Development *demonstrates how science and
innovation can be harnessed to tackle today’s biggest challenges in poor
countries, including climate change, HIV/AIDS and illiteracy. Case studies
are described, including the use of tissue culture to develop
disease-resistant bananas in Kenya; the use of nanotechnology to develop
cheaper and faster kits for diagnosing infectious diseases and the use of
organic material to power a multi-purpose stove that can also function as a
refrigerator and generator.

“*Science and Innovation for Development *is the most important publication
on development since Fritz Schumacher’s 1973 classic *Small is Beautiful*,”
says world-renowned development scholar Professor Calestous Juma of Harvard
University. He will join the authors to *launch *the new title in London on
Tuesday 19 January at the Wellcome Collection.
The authors

Written by two of the UK’s foremost development experts, *Sir Gordon Conway*,
Professor of International Development at Imperial College (and former chief
scientist at the UK Department for International Development) and *Professor
Jeff Waage*, Director of the London International Development Centre (LIDC),
with Sara Delaney, LIDC & Imperial College, *Science and Innovation for
Development *demonstrates how even the most basic daily activities in
developing country communities are based on science and innovation.

Sir Gordon says: “People in developed countries sometimes forget how
scientific innovations have transformed their lives.

“In the 20th century we witnessed dramatic medical inventions such as a
vaccine against yellow fever and the discovery of penicillin. Today we are
seeing revolutionary advances in electronics and communications. Similarly,
technology is helping solve challenges faced by the world’s poorest people:
water purification technologies are providing communities with access to
clean water, mobile phones are being used by farmers to access agricultural
data and medical research is helping tackle diseases like malaria and HIV.”

Using the Millennium Development Goals as a framework, the book explores a
wide range of development issues where science is particularly active:
agriculture, health and the environment.

Co-author Professor Waage says: “We have written this book to help people
understand the role that science and innovation can – and does – play in
helping developing countries reduce poverty and improve people’s

“We firmly believe that science is vital for development and we want that to
be well understood, particularly as science is often presented in a way that
is not easily accessible to the non-specialist.”

The authors and Professor Calestous Juma will be joined at the book launch
by a panel of leading UK scientists: Scotland’s Chief Scientist and UKCDS
Chair, Professor Anne Glover; Professor Alan Thorpe, Chair of Research
Councils UK and CEO of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of Research at the
Department for International Development (DFID) and Saleemul Huq, Senior
Fellow, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

The book is published by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences
(UKCDS) in partnership with the London International Development Centre
(LIDC), with contributions from Imperial College. The production of the
publication was funded by DFID.

*For more information contact:*

Jessica Deery, UKCDS Communications Officer
j.deery at
Tel: +44 (0)207 611 8701  / Mob: +44 (0) 796 099 6278* *
UKCDS Members: UKCDS <>
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