Goverdhan Mehta, President International Council for Science (ICSU) and Indian Institute of Science, India - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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ICSU Science &Technology for a Better World: Role of Science Revisited Retuning the role of science Goverdhan Mehta, President International Council for Science (ICSU) and Indian Institute of Science, India Structure of the presentation The ‘unfettered’ march of science

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Goverdhan Mehta, President International Council for Science (ICSU) and Indian Institute of Science, India

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ICSU

Science &Technology for a Better World:

Role of Science Revisited

Retuning the role of science

Goverdhan Mehta, President

International Council for Science (ICSU)

and Indian Institute of Science, India


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  • Structure of the presentation

  • The ‘unfettered’ march of science

  • Rejuvenating science – anewage

  • Science and Society- plea for ‘cohabitation’

  • Imperatives of ‘policy’ in an asymmetric world

  • Science as a world system - Intl. dimension

  • ICSU striving towards a better future for all

A panacea for everything


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21st century will be the century of knowledge

.…the process of transition is on

The Dawn of Knowledge Era

  • Spectacular developments in science and technology

  • Unparalleled economic growth –

    globalization,competition, innovation at the vanguard

  • Uncontrolled exploitation of earth’s resources


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The pivotal role of S & T…..

“The 20th century’s unprecedented gains in advancing human development, industrial growth and eradication of poverty in certain regions of the world came largely from technological breakthroughs”

In the 21st century, this role needs

to be recalibrated


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Why?

Progress in science has been for most part, insular, monolithic and unitary


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And at

and at an unprecedented pace………

Science has grown exponentially at a rate of about 7 per cent per annum, doubling every 10 - 15 years, growing by a factor of ten at every half-century, and by a factor of a close to a million in the past 300 years.

cf. Societal evolution domain is ~ 10,000 years


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Relentless pace of technology

Shrinking time domains

Faraday 1830 1881

Electricity

Genetic Engg.

Watson-Crick 1953 1973

Iijima (CNT) 1991 2001 Logic circuit

More new information has been generated in the

last 30 years than in the previous 5000

Computing power doubles….………..12 months

Networking (Band width) doubles… ..09 months

Storage (Hard disk) doubles…………. 06 months


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Scientific revolution has outpaced

social revolution for over a century now


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As a consequence of this disconnect…..

…….the burning issues confronting the world today relating to environment, energy, health, natural hazards, extinctions, unsustainable consumption and most importantly of growing inequalities and knowledge divide, did not come into sharper focus soon enough…..


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The Paradox of Our Time

Despite spectacular advances in science and technology, unprecedented economic progress and improvement in the quality of life…..


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Growing inequalities

Knowledge Divide

A troubled world


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A stressed planet

Galloping Consumption

Depleting resources


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Bangalore-2006

Poverty + DeprivationStrife + Conflict


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Environmental Pollution/Degradation

Over consumption ‘Un-sustainability’


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Environmental Pollution/Degradation

Effluents of the affluent


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e-waste or WEEE

Where do computers go,

to die or kill?

Time is running out!


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What can science do ?

In the 21st century, a more inclusive

view of science

‘..conception that science is autonomous is unsustainable.’


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Other knowledge Sustainable

Streams development

Science needs to shed its splendid isolation

A “new” role for Science

Science

Innovation


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Societal Policy

engagement Linkage

Synergy between scientific & societal progress

A “new” role for Science

Science

Innovation


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benefits

ScienceSociety

S

supports

Values Acceptability

Methods Equity

Products Sustenance


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benefits

ScienceSociety

S

supports

Science –Responsible, transparent, and understand the full implications of new discoveries in the context of moral and ethical values and sustainability of our planet

Society –Must shed its cynicism and skepticism about science and recognize its centrality for human good

Values Acceptability

Methods Equity

Products Sustenance

Cohabitation


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‘….To assume one basis for life and a different basis for science is a priori a falsehood….Natural science will in time incorporate into itself the science of man, just as the science of man will incorporate into itself natural science; there will beone science’

- Karl Marx


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Scientists must ponder over their inability to transfer the sense of objectivity and responsibility that they so effectively deploy in scientific experiments and search for truth to the other side, namely society’s evolution.


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Great opportunities……

Connecting to UN ‘Millennium Development Goals’

eg. hunger, health, education, environment

Linkages with Global Change Research Programs

eg. climate change, energy issues

The focus in the new age science…

Beyond discovery :

addressing human needs and concerns


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What is the way forward……?

Centrality of societal engagement,policy interventions, and international partnerships


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“Policy, not charity, will determine whether new technologies become a tool for human development everywhere” ….andfor all

UNDP-HDR 2001

There is enoughon this earth for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed

- Mahatma Gandhi


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Science for policy

and

Policy for Science

“There is hardly any social problem on which science cannot make some contribution”

-D. K. Price, Scientific Estate

Science is never sufficient to solve a problem completely; it is, however, always necessary.


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The challenge of poverty…….

“ The market is a powerful engine of technological progress, but it is not powerful enough to create and diffuse the technologies needed to eradicate poverty”

‘Policy interventions backed by political will and

commitment can make a vital difference’

It has become appallingly obvious that our

technology has exceeded our humanity.

UNHD Report 2001


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The reality……

‘political will in a globalizing world is focused on security than on development; stronger in finance and trade than in environment…’

For that……

…a political leadership that is scientifically informed and scientific leadership that is politically savvy is required…..

The need …

…..address causes not consequences


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A peaceful planet

Sustainable Development

An inclusive world

Eradicate poverty

Secure environment

Science + Society + Policy


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“Science is becoming a world system”


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Emergence of global scientific challenges

The evolving context of international science

Harmonizing challenges related to genetic research, climate change, energy, environment etc. with the imperatives of galvanizing best science that can be adopted and adapted in vastly diverse geographic, social, economic, political and cultural contexts.


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No one discipline and no single country can tackle complex global scientific problems

Earth systems are more intricately coupled through complexity then has been generally recognized…….


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For example…..

  • El nino in the south pacific has been implicated to the outbreak of communicable diseases in far away Bangladesh

  • Degradation of wetlands can be connected to spread of ‘birdflu’

  • Climate conditions helps predict outbreak of malaria epidemics in Africa (Botswana)*

  • Under water volcanic eruptions near Italy indicate lead contamination that can be traced to mines in Australia!

*Palmer et.al. Nature, 2006


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Natural Hazards

Sunami, Katrina, Kashmir…


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Explosions

Deforestation

Traffic

Plane crash

Man made hazards

Mining

Oil spills


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Global warming and climate change


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insects

coral

‘The sixth extinction crisis’

Amanita

Muscaria

sponge

Catastrophic loss of species predicted,

100-10,000 times faster than normal

Nature, July 20, 2006


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Health and human wellbeing:

From aging population to emerging epidemics

AIDS, Neurodegenerative disorders & Infectious diseases

AIDS alone is estimated to account for loss of 11,000 billion


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The essentials: An inclusive world view;

the perception that “its all about us”

must be discarded; “its about all of us”

Everyone has aspirations

&

Everyone is vulnerable

In the 21st century national interests and international partnerships have to be viewed as complementary

Towards a world of interdependence


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We are ……

“……travelers together

on this bright blue ball

in nothingness”

-Carl Sandburg


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Strengthening International Science for the Benefit of Society

75

Celebrating 75 years: 1931-2006


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ICSU

ICSU: a long history

  • Founded in1931, but roots back to 1899

  • A membership organization with:107National Members (mostly Academies)29International Scientific Unions

  • Establishes interdisciplinary bodies; sponsors programs in key areas of global concern

  • Limited finances butunique worldwide access

    to intellectual resources


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ICSU

ICSU mission

ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community to:

  • Identify and addressmajor issuesof importance toscience and society

  • Facilitateinteractionof scientists across disciplines and among nations

  • Promoteparticipation of all scientistsregardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance or gender

  • Stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community, governments, civil society and the private sector


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ICSU

The ICSU Vision

“….A world where science is used for thebenefit of all,excellence in scienceis valued and scientific knowledge is effectively linked to policy-making. In such a world, universaland equitable access to scientific data and information is a reality and all countries have the scientific capacity to use these ….”


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ICSU

International Research Collaboration

Science and Policy

Universality of Science

Three strategic themes

“It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does” - Peter Senge


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www.icsu.org


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A wish list for rejuvenating science

  • New learning system - holistic nature of knowledge

  • Universal S & T literacy

  • Reinventing science education

  • A ‘scientific temper’ for the world

  • Sustainability science for every citizen

  • A borderless view of science

..and a human sensitivity index (HSI) for every scientist!


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Thank you


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ICSU

ICSU:Building on experience

A few landmarks since1931:

  • International Geophysical Year (1957-1958)

  • International Biological Programme (1964-1974)

  • Freedom in the conduct of science (1963-)

  • Four global change programmes (1980-)

  • ASCEND 21 and input to the Rio Earth Summit (1991,1992)

  • Input to World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002)

  • Input to World Summit on the information Society (2003,05)


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International Research Collaboration

  • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments with focus on global environmental change

  • International Polar Year 2007-2008

  • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental Hazards and Disasters

  • Science for Sustainable Development

  • Science for Human Health

  • Sustainable Energy


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ICSU

Science for Policy

  • Ensure that international research programmes address key policy issues

  • Participate in major international assessments

  • Produce authoritative statements

  • Speak as the voice of international science in policy fora


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ICSU

Universality of Science

  • The Founding Principle of ICSU

    • Freedom and Responsibility in science

  • Reaching out to all countries:

    • Access to Data and Information

    • Regional Offices


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Scientists must ponder over their inability to transfer the sense of objectivity and responsibility that they so effectively deploy in scientific experiments and search for truth to the other side, namely society’s evolution.


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Scientists must ponder over their inability to transfer the sense of objectivity and responsibility that they so effectively deploy in scientific experiments and search for truth to the other side, namely society’s evolution.


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Freedom and responsibility in Science…..

Leonardo da Vinci, a renaissance legend wrote to the Duke of Milan about his idea of building a submarine:“I do not want to precisely describe my method to stay under the water for a long period because people are so ill-natured that they would use it to destroy the keel of boats and to sink the crew”;words whose relevance is not lost in present times as concerns about bio-terrorism, proliferation, stem cell research, human cloningand nanotechnology stare at us.


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ICSU

ICSU Regional Offices

Aim:

To ensure that the voice of developing countries influences the international agenda setting and that scientists from the South are fully involved in the research

  • ICSU Regional Office for Africa in Pretoria inaugurated in September 2005

  • ICSU Regional Office for Asia and Pacific to open in KL, Malaysia in September 2006

  • Office for in Latin America/Caribbean in Rio, Brazil in December, 2006

  • Arab region – negotiations underway


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ICSU

Strategic Partnerships

  • The UN System:

    • UNESCO

    • UNEP and its Science Initiative

    • Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD)

    • WMO, Climate Change, IPY, Natural Hazards

  • The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Inter Academy Panel (IAP), Inter Academy Panel Inter Academy Council (IAC), Regional networks

  • The technological community(WFEO, CAETS)


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ICSU

ICSU will continue its unwavering commitment to…..

  • Promote the use ofcutting edge scienceto addressglobal challenges, stimulate innovation and forinformed decision making

  • Strive for a fine balance between freedom and responsibilityin the pursuit of Science

  • Explore new mechanisms toshare scientific knowledgeand its understanding with stakeholders in society


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“It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does….” - Peter Senge

ICSU Strategic Plan2006-2011

  • Process:6yrs of intense evaluation, review, planning and dialogue with scientists across the world

  • Priority setting:Science driven prioritization of societally important issues

  • Product(s):A total of 13 separate expert reviews, reports and statementswww.icsu.org

  • Implementation strategy: EB & CSPR


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ICSU

International Research Collaboration

Science and Policy

Universality of Science

Strategic Themes

Three inter-related themes:


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No one discipline and no single country can tackle complex global scientific problems

Earth systems are more intricately coupled through complexity then has been generally recognized. For example, El nino in the south pacific has been implicated to the outbreak of communicable diseases in far away Bangladesh, degradation of wetlands can be connected to birdflu and climate change helps predict outbreak of malaria epidemics in Africa.


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A problem can never be solved at

the level at which it was created


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