The Dark Side of Technology

ISBN : 9780198826293

Peter Townsend
320 ページ
138 x 216 mm

The Dark Side of Technology is aimed at a mass market of intelligent people who are concerned about human progress, interested or amused by many of the unexpected consequences of technological advance, and probably unaware of the dangers which we are accruing for ourselves. Although the book spans a very wide spectrum of ideas, no previous scientific knowledge is required. Other books have focussed on different topic areas, but none have previously presented the generality of the patterns across medicine to agriculture, electronics, communications, a global economy and a burgeoning population. Technology invariably advances faster than our understanding of side effects, or our realisation that we have become vulnerable to natural events that could eliminate advanced nations, nor that mutagenic changes may not be apparent for one or two generations. This is therefore both an alarm call and a guide to survival.


1 Have we the knowledge, willpower and determination to survive?
2 Technology and survival - are they compatible?
3 Natural Disasters and Civilization
4 Good technologies with bad side effects
5 From trains to transistors
6 Food, survival and resources
7 The Silent Spring revisited
8 Medicine - Expectations and Reality
9 Knowledge loss from changing language
10 Decay of materials and information loss from technology
11 Technology, the new frontier for crime and terror
12 Technology driven social isolation
13 Consumerism and Obsolescence
14 Rejection of knowledge and information
15 Hindsight, foresight, radical suggestions, and a grain of Hope


Peter Townsend is involved in very diverse activities in academia, industry and national labs in 8 countries, in more than 15 topic areas. He has initiated 5 new areas of research, supervised 67 postgraduate students, and has written over 530 publications, plus patents, with more than 500 co-authors. His numerous scientific awards include a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and Finalist of Descartes Prize for Excellence in Research (for breast cancer detection). Other main activities include violin playing and fencing from County up to International level.