© 2019

Eradicating Blindness

Global Health Innovation from South Asia

  • The first book to study the development of innovative ophthalmological science, and technology and social entrepreneurship in South Asia, and its circulation throughout the Global South

  • Uses multi-sited, empirical data from four eye hospitals (in India, Nepal, Kenya and Mexico)

  • Offers a feminist postcolonial multi-level perspective analysis by pairing an explicit attention to the imposition of power through modes of science and technology circulation with new insights into the multi-level perspective on socio-technical system change

  • Advances theoretical understanding of innovation 'from below', science and technology circulation and appropriate technology choice in a global field of science—ophthalmology

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Logan D. A. Williams
    Pages 1-35
  3. Logan D. A. Williams
    Pages 253-287
  4. Logan D. A. Williams
    Pages 289-313
  5. Logan D. A. Williams
    Pages 333-352
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 353-369

About this book


This book describes community ophthalmology professionals in South Asia who demonstrate social entrepreneurship in global health to help the rural poor. Their innovations contested economic and scientific norms, and spread from India and Nepal outwards to other countries in Africa and Asia, as well as the United States, Australia, and Finland.
This feminist postcolonial global ethnography illustrates how these innovations have resulted in dual socio-technical systems to solve the problem of avoidable blindness. Policymakers and activists might use this example of how to avoid Schumacher's critique of low labor, large scale and implement Gandhi's philosophy of good for all.


appropriate technology community ophthalmology conflict sociology development ethnography extended case method global south innovation Kaplinsky multi-level perspective phacoemulsification social entrepreneurship socio-technical regime technology transfer World Health Organization postcolonial

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Logan Williams Consultancy Services, LLCCumberlandUSA

About the authors

Logan D. A. Williams is the principal of Logan Williams Consultancy Services, LLC, and an Associate Editor of Science as Culture. Formerly she was an Assistant Professor of History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science in the Lyman Briggs College and the department of Sociology at Michigan State University, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Eradicating Blindness
  • Book Subtitle Global Health Innovation from South Asia
  • Authors Logan D. A. Williams
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-981-13-1624-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-981-13-4656-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-981-13-1625-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 369
  • Number of Illustrations 9 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Science and Technology Studies
    Medical Sociology
    Medical Anthropology


“It is fascinating to read this story of pioneering innovation in low-cost, high-volume cataract surgery in the Global South, starting with the Aravind Eye Care System in India and then the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal. And about the systemic approach, for example, including a “Robin Hood” business model. Thus, it also illuminates how alternative approaches to innovation are viable, provided the entrepreneurs take the full context into account.” (Arie Rip, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Twente, Netherlands)

“Williams’ account of “innovation from below”, here from Nepal and India to elsewhere around the globe, and in the field of ophthalmology’s cataract surgeries, is both startling and exciting.  Good-bye to the imperial West-to-Rest dissemination model. Welcome to more useful strategies for charting diverse cross-national appropriations, co-optations, resistances, negotiations, and progressive transformations. A must-read for understanding today’s science and technology transitions.” (Sandra Harding, Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Education and Gender Studies, University of California Los Angeles, USA)