In honour of Black History Month we will be recognising notable contributions to the STEMs from people of African origin. Today we recognise Prof. Calestous Juma.
Born in Kenya, Prof. Juma is an environmentalist, professor and author who is internationally recognised in the field of science and technology application. He started off his career as a school teacher before becoming Africa’s first science and environment journalist. He later received an MSc in Science, Technology and Industrialization and a DPhil in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex (UK). He is currently a Professor at Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Professor at MIT (2014-2015). He also continues to provide high-level policy advice to governments, the United Nations and other international organisations on science, technology, and innovation.
Prof. Juma has received multiple awards for his contributions to science and is a Fellow at multiple academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy Sciences and the African Academy of Sciences. In 2012/2013, he was named amongst the 100 most influential Africans and has received multiple honorary doctorates from institutions such as McGill University (Canada) and University of Education (Ghana).
In 1988, he founded the African Centre for Technology studies which is designed to advance research on technology in development and his contributions continue to be focused on the role of technological innovation in sustainable development. He recently received the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize and actively engages with the general public providing information and news updates via social media (Follow Prof. Juma on Twitter @Calestous).
Prof. Juma is also a published author with multiple pieces of work and has made his publications freely available at belfercenter.org/global
Edit: Prof. Juma passed away in Boston on 15th December 2017. A cursory look at the Hashtag #RIPCalestous is a testament of his global impact