The University Drop-In: The Life of Calestous Juma in His Own Words

In this inspiring book, Calestous Juma pens his remarkable story, from the curiosity that shaped his young mind in rural Kenya to the unconventional paths that lifted him to global influence in academia, innovation, and sustainable development.

Release Date  March 21, 2023 Pre-Order Now!

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"It has been a pleasure and great joy reading this autobiography. I often laughed and cried. I heard CJ speaking!"

Writing in pen and ink the year before his untimely death at age 64, Calestous Juma sought to illuminate the personal path he took and to encourage others to make their own. He was always an influencer (what else would you call someone with over 100,000 Twitter followers?) long before the term became common currency. Whether as a science teacher, journalist, scholar, or policy pioneer, he sought to bring knowledge and vision to the hard work of making development sustainable.

In this very personal account, Juma takes us from his childhood in a fishing town on the shores of Lake Victoria, through his adventures in journalism, to his intellectual growth and emergence in the corridors of power in national and international environmental policymaking and academia. His trademark humor and sharing of political cartoons opened the door to frank exchanges and too many partnerships to count.

This work is published posthumously, exactly as he wrote it. Everyone who read the manuscript agreed: it must be shared with the world. We hope it will inspire you to contribute to the work ahead.

The Calestous Juma Legacy Foundation


Calestous Juma








7 x 10

Year Published



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About the Author

Calestous Juma (1953-2017) was Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was Founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi, Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. His recent books include The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa (2011) and Innovation and its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies (2016); more at