The antidote is the amazing David Deutsch, in The Beginning of Infinity, who puts it this way:
... progress is sustainable, indefinitely. But only by people who engage in a particular kind of thinking and behavior -- the problem-solving and problem-creating kind characteristic of the Enlightenment. And that requires the optimism of a dynamic society (p. 423, italics in the original).Craig Venter, profiled in today's New York Times Magazine, appears to be one of the people Deutsch describes.
ADDED: Ane here is one more guy who fits the mold.