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Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council PowerPoint Presentation
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Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council

Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council

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Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council

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  1. Science and Technology Capacity and the Knowledge Society Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council Past President–Indian National Science Academy (INSA)

  2. 21st century will be the century of knowledge The Dawn of Knowledge Era

  3. Information products Industrial products Raw Materials Agri products Industrial Society Agricultural Society Information Society Knowledge Society Innovation Knowledge products Networks Economic Growth Technology Societal Transformation

  4. What is a Knowledge Society ? • That uses knowledge holistically to empower and enrich people– and is an integral driver of sustainable development (societal transformation) • A life-long learning society committed to innovation • Has the capacity to generate, diffuse, utilize and protect knowledge - creates economic wealth and social equity • Enlightens people towards an integrated view of life as a fusion of mind, body and spirit Planning Commission Report, India 2001

  5. The Age of Science “The 20th century’s unprecedented gains in advancing human development and eradicating poverty came largely from technological breakthroughs”

  6. S & T as an engine for development ? Consensus is emerging among policy makers and economists that at least half, if not more, of the economic growth in countries is directly attributable to science and technology. In a globalizing, knowledge driven world with increasing importance of service industries and technological competitiveness, this contribution can only become higher.

  7. 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.

  8. “Policy, not charity, will determine whether new technologies become a tool for human development everywhere” UNDP-HDR 2001 “There is enough in this world for everyone's needs but not greed” -Mahatma Gandhi

  9. The Dignity of Work “Development is about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value” …..But, two thirds of the world population lives in conditions of relative to complete deprivation…..What choices do they have? ….1 billion without safe drinking water, 2.4 billion without access to basic sanitation, 1 billion illiterates…

  10. The Paradox of Our Time

  11. Growing inequalities Knowledge Divide

  12. Rising Inequities • Inequities are rising within and between countries • Assets of world’s 3 richest people exceed combined GDP of poorest 48 countries • 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day and 2.8 billion on less than $2 a day (1998)

  13. Industrialized nations vsLess Developed Countries (LDCs) Widening gaps in …… human resource capacity S & T infrastructure which are critical in the new knowledge based world………

  14. India 1.49

  15. Knowledge “have nots” PopulationWith Internet Developed World 15% 88% Developing World 85% 12% Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 1999, USPTO

  16. Asymmetry in scientific spending vs incomes Income = 60 times (OECD:LIE) Research = 250 times (OECD:LIE) OECD countries contribute 94% of scientific literature OECD Countries account for 85% of total R & D expenditure

  17. Explosive Growth of Knowledge 00 AD 1750 doubled 1750 1900 doubled 1900 1950 doubled 1950 3-4 yrs doubles More new information has been generated in the last 30 years than in the previous 5000

  18. Galloping pace of technology Shrinking time domains Faraday 1830 1881 Electricity Genetic Engg. Watson-Crick 1953 1973 Computing Power doubles….………..18 months Networking (Band width) doubles……12 months Storage (Hard disk) doubles……………9 months

  19. Investment Driven R&D Regime “When R & D investments begins to exceed capital investment, the corporation can be said to be shifting from a place for production to a place for knowledge creation” Genomics But, 80 countries are classified as scientifically lagging and have no capital Nanotechnology RAND S & T Report 2001

  20. Currenttrends greater gaps scientific apartheid! Bend the Curves The Gap 2003 Time

  21. Among the many challenges of the global knowledge divide, the growing S&T gapbetween North and South is the most important Distribution of S & T capacities is even more lopsided than that of economic power

  22. A long way to go…

  23. But there is promise… The ‘HOLE-IN-THE WALL’ EXPERIMENT, NIIT, INDIA Experiments in Minimally Invasive Education

  24. .….and there is great potential of rich human capital in the south Population can be a renewable knowledge resource as important as capital

  25. Inventing the Future Urgent Need for S & T Capacity Building for transition to the knowledge society Recognize it as a worldwide challenge

  26. S & T Capacity Building-The Road Ahead Need for a global perspective and commitment- harmonize with local contexts Rethink by global institutions that deal with scientific knowledge New understanding of south--talent is all pervasive, access & opportunity are not Practical, pragmatic strategies Capacity building is a continuum

  27. “Broad Banding”-S & T Capacities “…it is more appropriate to view innovations as the fusion of different types of technology rather than as a series of technical breakthroughs. Fusion means more than a combination of different technologies:it invokes an arithmetic in which one plus one makes three” F. Kodama • Thatdeveloping countries need only relevant technologies is a ‘myth’ • Every country needs the capacity to understand and adapt global technologies for local needs • Integration of immediate needs and long term vision

  28. 10,000 years ago…………..“Let Knowledge come from all sides”-Rig Veda Segmentation of knowledge leads to divisiveness Let knowledge be harnessed to uplift the blossoms in the dust too

  29. Clusters of Action points • Human Resources-New paradigms in science education • Universal scientific and technical literacy • Science, its values and Societal engagement • Institutions, infrastructure and networks • Information access-particularly to scientific journals • Public/Private partnerships • Policy issues - national and international

  30. New Paradigms in Science Education • Need for a majorrethinkat pedagogic andcurricular level • Imaginative synergy with other knowledge streams • Rekindle interest in experiments and sensory observations • Restore the inspirational role of teacher-motivator & mentor • Integration with concepts of sustainable development • Learning science as an enlivening experience-neither esoteric nor prosaic Strengthening science education at all levels is an enabling requirement, especially for developing nations, for a self-standing national science base.

  31. Newinitiatives in different countries are being attempted Need to share experiences and evolve local strategies IAP Science Education Program UNESCO,TWAS, ICSU ………

  32. Information Access-Books and Journals ………Some silver lining • Digital libraries- Million books on the web initiative –CMU & IISc MIT-OCW initiative Dig Lib in Alexandria • Electronic Journals Public library of Science {PLOS) PLOS Biology, PLOS Journal of Medicine PNAS-National Academy of Sciences (USA)

  33. The interactive complexity of the triumvirate of science, innovation and commercialization indicates that the linear conception of S & T for progress in the emerging knowledge society may be inadequate. Scientific revolution has outpaced social revolution for over a century now

  34. Towards New Understandings and Partnerships • Recognize indigenous knowledge-as a common heritage of humankind- many of its features could be key elements of sustainable development strategies • Innovative approaches to international S & T cooperation-primacy of south-south cooperation • Alliances to build capacities for the generation, infusion and absorption of technologies in real time • Establish “BANK” to which patents can be assigned for public good, “peace and happiness”

  35. The Role of the Science Academies

  36. InterAcademyCouncil Origin of IAC • Established in 2001 and supported by the world’s leading academies of sciences [Inter Academy Panel, IAP, ~90 academies ] Purpose of IAC • Mobilizing the world’s best science for a better tomorrow.

  37. InterAcademyCouncil Executive Board • Academies of Science from Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States; and the Third World Academy of Sciences Co-Chairs • Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences • Goverdhan Mehta, Past President, Indian National Science Academy Observers • International Council for Science, ICSU; • InterAcademy Panel (IAP) ; and • The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

  38. InterAcademyCouncil Modus operandi • Project-by-project studies, sponsor-initiated • Transparent Process Independence • Study panels established through broad consultations (IAP Academies) • Composition of panels approved by IAC Board Merit-based • Draft reports subject to intensive peer review • Released after approval by the IAC Board

  39. InterAcademyCouncil First study: • Strategy for Building Worldwide Capacities in Science and Technology. (Expected release Dec 2003, Mexico City) • Second study: • Science and Technology for Improving Agricultural Productivity in Africa (Expected completion Jan 2004) Third study initiated: • Towards Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems (under implementation)

  40. InterAcademyCouncil Activities Planned • Gender Issues in Science & Technology • Use of Internet for Distance Education in S & T • Science and Technology in Preserving World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)

  41. “ Today, the Third World is only slowly waking up to the realization that in the final analysis, creation, mastery and utilization of modern science and technology is basically what distinguishes the South from the North. On S &T depend the standards of living of a nation”- Prof. Abdus SalamFounder TWAS

  42. Thank You