Going back further to the dark ages, how much real innovation occurred when everyone was forced (by law, if not practical necessity) into being vassals under feudalism that subordinated everyone and everything to landed nobility and the Church? Yes, we had people like Kepler, Newton, and Galileo... and their contemporary influence was almost nonexistent. Their discoveries were talked about privately, behind closed doors, and most of their effort was spent trying to avoid getting crushed by those who cared mainly about preserving the status quo.
The dark ages was a time of significant innovation, e.g. the wheeled, adjustable pough; water mills; the horse collar; draw plates for making wire; the blast furnace; pointed and ribbed arches; the flying buttress; etc., etc., etc.
Kepler, Newton and Galileo did not live during the dark ages. All were well known during their lives, but only Galileo got into trouble over his publications, and it was the way his book was written rather than its scientific content that got him imprisoned (it featured a dialogue between a thinly veiled version of himself as the wise know-it-all, who expounds at length to an idiot who is obviously based on the pope, thereby humiliating and annoying a man who had been his friend since childhood). Kepler's problems in later life were due to his connection with Calvinists, not his scientific work, and Newton, contrary to being crushed, did quite well for himself.
Common people didn't know about their works because they were published in Latin, so the few commoners who were literate were unable to read them.