Jonathan Harwood was born in the US (1943) and educated at Wesleyan University. Following a year abroad at the Universität Würzburg, he took his doctorate (molecular biology) at Harvard. Emigrating to the UK in 1970, he studied sociology at Bristol University before moving to the University of Manchester where he taught history and sociology of science and technology, with sabbaticals in Berlin and Cambridge (Mass.), until retiring in 2008.
Although a historian of genetics throughout most of his career, his interests over the last two decades have shifted markedly. He is now best described as a historian of technology with a general interest in the political economy of technical change and a particular interest in agricultural “revolutions” since the nineteenth century in both the global North and South. His most recent book is Europe’s Green Revolution and Others Since: the Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding (London: Routledge, 2016). Since retirement he has worked for the most part as a public historian, publishing critical studies of “the Green Revolution” in journals of development studies and sustainable agriculture.
Another Green Revolution? Extracting "Lessons" from History
Europe’s Green Revolution: The Rise and Fall of Peasant-Friendly Plant Breeding in Central Europe, 1890–1945
The Forgotten History of Intercropping: Changing Perceptions among Western Agronomists since the 19th Century
The Forgotten History of Intercropping: On the Marginalization of Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture
The Roads not Taken: Neglected Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture in the Global South
Harwood, Jonathan (2021). “Coming to Terms with Tropical Ecology: Technology Transfer during the Early Green Revolution.” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 19 (3–4): 305–318. https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2021.1908747.Read More
Harwood, Jonathan (2020). “Whatever Happened to the Mexican Green Revolution?” Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems 44 (9): 1243–1252. https://doi.org/10.1080/21683565.2020.1752350.Read More
Harwood, Jonathan (2019). “Peasant Friendly Plant Breeding and the Early Years of the Green Revolution in Mexico.” In The History of Science in a World of Readers, ed. D. Schäfer and A. N. H. Creager, 165–183. Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the…Read More
Harwood, Jonathan (2019). “Was the Green Revolution Intended to Maximise Food Production?” International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 17 (4): 312–325. https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2019.1637236.Read More
Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities
US Think Tanks & Foundations in World Politics: the Nexus of Knowledge & Power
City University (London)