Civilization at the Crossroads of the Scientific and Technological Revolution

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* Book: Civilization at the Crossroads : Social and Human Implications of the Scientific and Technological Revolution. By Radovan Richta. Routledge, 1969


“Philosopher and sociologist Radovan Richta (1924–1983) is well known as a main author of influential collective work Civilization at the Crossroads (1966), an ambitious attempt of Czechoslovak social scientists to explain future directions of social, political, and economic development in the post-industrial age.“ [1]


“This title was first published in 1968. The dynamic advance of scientific discovery in recent decades, together with the rapid development of the material base of human life, is assuming the magnitude of revolutionary changes that promise in the long run to transform the nature of civilization and open up boundless prospects for a new form of society. These considerations underscore the urgency of probing the substance of the scientific and technological revolution of our day — its social and human roots and implications. In 1965, a systematic examination of these problems was undertaken in Czechoslovakia by a research team made up of workers in various branches of science. The group was attached to the Institute of Philosophy, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and headed by Dr. R. Richta, who has been working in this field for some time. The original purpose was to make a brief report on urgent ideological and theoretical matters arising from the new advances in science and technology. However, a fuller analysis led to a more ambitious and long-term project. Its aim was to draw, insofar as this was possible, a synthetic picture of the scientific and technological revolution against the background of the two social systems — socialism and capitalism — while also attempting to suggest ways of handling the inevitable social and human issues involved.”