AbstractIn this editorial the author proposes that scientists and technologists can play essential roles in the selection of technological alternatives that are appropriate to people’s long-term needs. Lessons learned in the 1970s and 80s, involving the design of simple and reliable mechanical systems for underdeveloped regions, can have relevance today in an increasingly interdependent, crowded, and polluted world. Specialists can help in two ways to promote technologies that make sense, providing for future well-being, and minimizing risks. First, we can exercise personal judgment in our work, as we pursue technological progress. We need to consider whether the likely products of our work are compatible with the world that we want to leave for our grandchildren. Second, we can provide guidance to our fellow citizens, as society grapples with the political and economic choices associated with progress.