Selected Publications

Books and Reports

Escaping Maya’s Palace: Decoding an Ancient Myth to Heal the Hidden Madness of Modern Civilization

Karavelle Press, 2022

Winner of the 2023 Gold Nautilus Book Award honoring “better books for a better world” — top prize in the category “World Cultures’ Transformational Development & Growth.”

A celebrated saga from ancient India tells of a young king who mysteriously shifts character and gambles away his kingdom. By unraveling this legend’s secret meaning, Escaping Maya’s Palace launches a sleuthing expedition into a distortion in psychological and spiritual growth that lies buried deep at the root of modern civilization. Today this undetected malady contributes to woes ranging from opioid addiction to social alienation, the rise of authoritarian populism, and environmental catastrophe.

Informed by long-lost wisdom from the Mahabharata, one of the great epics of world literature, award-winning author Richard Sclove explains how our civilization descended into this blighted condition. Integrating a missing psychological dimension into social theory and world history, this intellectually daring and engrossing work clears a path for remaking modern politics and economics, social movements, and daily life. This book’s profound insights offer renewed hope to a world in crisis.

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Democracy and Technology

Guilford Press, 1995

Winner of the Don K. Price Award of the American Political Science Association honoring “the year’s best book in science, technology, and politics.”

This eye-opening book describes how modern technologies–such as computers, automobiles, machine tools, hybrid crops, nuclear reactors, and others–contribute to vexing social problems ranging from the continued subordination of women and workers to widespread political disengagement. Engineers, manufacturers, and policy makers rarely take these consequences into account. Contending that reinvigorated democratic politics can and should supersede conventional economic reasoning as a basis for decisions about technology, Richard Sclove clearly outlines how the general public can become actively involved in all phases of technology decision making, from assessment and policy making to research and development.

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Reinventing Technology Assessment – A  21st Century Model: Using Citizen Participation, Collaboration, and Expert Analysis to Inform and Improve Decision-Making on Issues Involving Science and Technology

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, April 2010

This report inspired an editorial in Nature magazine and helped launch the U.S. Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network. Richard discusses the report in this video.


Living Knowledge – The Network: Accomplishments and Further Opportunities for Developing an International Network of Science Shops

SCIPAS Report No. 7, Utrecht University, July 2001). Co-author with Maaike Lürsen

This report helped launch the international Living Knowledge network for promoting community-based research.


Community-Based Research in the United States: An Introductory Reconnaissance, Including Twelve Organizational Case Studies and Comparison with the Dutch Science Shops and the Mainstream American Research System

The Aspen Institute and The Loka Institute, 1998). Co-author with Madelaine Scammell and Breena Holland

This report generated extensive media coverage, including in The Chronicle of Higher EducationThe  Christian Science Monitor, and a cover story in Science News.


Commentary and Essays

Analyze This: Donald Trump’s Thoughts and Speech,” Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, 17 Aug. 2023.

He Became Death, Destroyer of Worlds. If Only He’d Read a Bit Further…,” Newsweek, 28 July 2023. A previously untold story about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Bhagavad Gita, and the ethics of nuclear weapons.

A Silver Lining to the Coming Downturn: Slow or negative GDP growth could give us a chance to reflect on how to advance social justice, sustainability, health, and the care of our souls,” Tikkun, 28 Sept 2022.

Democracy and Technology: An Interview with Richard Sclove by Beth Simone Noveck,” Digital Government, January 2020.

Ethics in Technology Assessment,” Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2020. 

Letters to the EditorThe New York Times, 1981-2023.

Why the Polls on Climate Change Are Wrong,” Huffington Post, 23 October 2009.

World’s Citizens to Politicians: Get Serious on Global Warming Now!,” Yes! Magazine, 29 Oct. 2009.

Cybernetic Wal-Mart,” Adbusters, March/Apr 2001.

Richard Sclove interview in CIO magazine, Oct. 2000.

“Counter the Cybernetic Wal-Mart Effect,” The Christian Science Monitor, March 2000.

Science By Everyone: Building a Worldwide Community Research Network,” Nature magazine,28 Jan. 1999.  Coauthor with Madeleine Scammell.

For U.S. Science Policy, It’s Time for a Reality Check,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 October 1998.  Reprinted as a reply to the Chairman of the House Science Committee in AAAS Science and Technology Policy Yearbook (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1999).

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Genetic Testing,” Sunday Outlook Section, The Washington Post, 22 March 1998.  Co-author with Phil Bereano.

Better Approaches to Science Policy,” Editorial, Science magazine, 27 Feb. 1998.

“Democratizing Technology,” interview on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, 9 May 1996.

“Put Democracy Into R&D,” The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Oct. 1995.

“Putting Science to Work in Communities,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 March 1995.

“The Ghost in the Modem: For Architects of the Info-Highway, Some Lessons From the Concrete Interstate,” Sunday Outlook Section, The Washington Post, 29 May 1994. Co-author with Jeffrey Scheuer.

“Making Technology the Servant of Democracy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 Jan. 1994.

Letter on Radioactive Waste DisposalScientific American, Oct. 1977

Articles and Chapters

“I’d Hammer Out Freedom: Technology as Politics and Culture,” in Society, Ethics, and Technology, eds. Morton Winston and Ralph Edelbach (Wadsworth, 2014).

Reinventing Technology Assessment,” Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2010.

“Nuclear Waste: Knowledge Waste?,” Science magazine, 2010. Co-author with 15 others.

Cybersobriety: How a Commercially Driven Internet Threatens the Foundations of Democratic Self-Governance and What To Do About It,” in Community Practice in the Network Society: Local Action/Global Interaction, eds. Peter Day and Douglas Schuler (Routledge, 2004).

Reclaiming Choice,” Yes!, A Journal of Positive Futures, Fall 2001.

Science, Technology, and Society on Other Planets,” in Visions of STS: Counterpoints in Science, Technology, and Society Studies, eds. Stephen H. Cutcliffe and Carl Mitcham (State University of New York Press, 2001).

Town Meetings on Technology: Consensus Conferences as Democratic Participation,” in Science, Technology and Democracy, ed. D.L. Kleinman (State University of New York Press, 2000).

Practicing the Principle,” in Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing the Precautionary Principle, eds. C. Raffensperger & J. Tickner (Island Press, 1999).  Coauthor with Madeleine Scammell.

“Research By the People,” Utne Reader, no. 91 (Jan.-Feb. 1999), pp. 86-87.  Co-author with Madeleine Scammell.

The Democratic Uses of Technology,” Thought and Action: The NEA Higher Education Journal, Spring 1998.

“Research By the People, For the People,” Futures, August 1997, pp. 541-549.

Citizen Policy Wonks,” YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, Fall 1997.

“Technological Politics as if Democracy Really Mattered,” in Technology and the Future, ed. Albert Teich (St. Martin’s Press, 1997).

“Town Meetings on Technology,” Technology Review, July 1996.

“The Nuts and Bolts of Democracy: Democratic Theory and Technological Design,” in Democracy in a Technological Society, ed. Langdon Winner (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992), pp. 139-157.

“From Alchemy to Atomic War: Frederick Soddy’s `Technology Assessment’ of Atomic Energy, 1900-1915,” Science, Technology & Human Values, Spring 1989.

“Decision‑Making in a Democracy,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1982, with a comment by John Gibbons, Director of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment.