Declaration of the Budapest World Science Forum 2011 on a New Era of Global Science
Declaration on a New Era of Global Science -WSF Closed in Unison
"More than ever before, the world will be shaped by science." World Science Forum’s (WSF) closing statement was endorsed by universal applause at WSF’s closing session held in Hungary’s Parliament Building on 19 November, 2011. Below, find an account of the final speeches made at the session by dignitaries including the Presidents of Hungary and Hungarian Academy of Science respectively.
The highlight of the WSF closing event was – for the first time in the Forum’s history – the endorsement of the Declaration on a New Era of Global Science. József Pálinkás, President of both HAS and WSF read it out and participants accepted it with an universal applause.
The Declaration states: the treasure of scientific knowledge and its underlying research approaches are a common heritage of humankind. More than ever before, the world will be shaped by science.
The growing complexity of grand challenges our new global era has to face include population-growth, climate change, food supply, energy shortage, natural and technological catastrophes, epidemics, and sustainability. They require that the world’s scientific establishment assumes new roles. A new multi-polar world of science has emerged. In this new context science diplomacy is an acknowledged tool to promote partnership among nations by fostering scientific co-operation. The expansion of scientific networks has also changed the circle of actors participating in research activities. The acceleration of „knowledge economics” has generated new migration patterns for scientists. Winners and losers of the brain-drain equally face the need for more intensive co-operation.
Developments in many research fields have considerable moral and ethical implications that require an urgent and global dialogue between scientists and the broader public. Under such conditions WSF submits the following recommendations: scientist should strengthen their individual and institutional responsibilities to avoid possible harm to society due to ignorance or misjudgement of the consequences of new discoveries and applications of scientific knowledge. International cooperation is essential for decreasing the knowledge divide and regional disparities. Brain-drain and brain-gain policies should be co-ordinated for the joint benefit of all affected countries. Comprehensive actions should be taken to strengthen the role of women in science and innovation.
The whole text of the declaration is below:
Text adopted by the 5th Budapest World Science Forum
on 19 November 2011
With the encouragement and support of our partner organisations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and all invited organisations and fellow scientists, we, the participants of the Budapest World Science Forum held from 17 to 19 November in Budapest, recognizing the relevance of the outcomes of 1999 World Conference on Science (WCS) and taking into account the reports of the biannual World Science Forum (WSF), as well as the debates and the outcomes of this World Science Forum on the “Changing Landscape of Science: Challenges and Opportunities”, adopt the present declaration.
In light of this declaration, we make the following recommendations:
1. Responsible and ethical conduct of research and innovation
In this era of global science, the scientific establishment needs to implement continuous self-reflection to appropriately evaluate its responsibilities, duties and rules of conduct in research and innovation. A universal code of conduct addressing the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of scientific researchers, and the universal rules of scientific research should be shared by the world’s scientific community. Furthermore, these rules and policies should be respected by the states and adopted by their national legislations.
Scientists should strengthen their individual and institutional responsibilities to avoid possible harm to society due to ignorance or misjudgement of the consequences of new discoveries and applications of scientific knowledge.
It is the responsibility of those who promote science and scientists to maintain the primacy of moral and social concerns over short-term economic interest in the selection and implementation of industrialised research projects.
2. Improved dialogue with society on scientific issues
In times of rapid and fundamental changes in the social environment, the sciences should be supported in their co-operative efforts to describe and evaluate with the best available methods the consequences of policy actions and explorations of both natural and social sciences.
Participation of societies should be promoted in order to make science more democratic and to build further trust in science. To this end societies must be prepared to knowledgably discuss the moral and ethical consequences of science and technology by strengthening policies to enhance awareness and public understanding of science and improving and broadening the scope of education.
3. International collaboration in science should be promoted
Better international co-ordination is needed for science research projects focusing on global challenges. International co-operation is essential for decreasing the knowledge divide and regional disparities.
The free co-operation and movement of scientists should be promoted by the elimination of harmful bureaucracy and false regulation and by providing the funds to further international co-operation.
To avoid repetition, redundancy, and excessive expense in scientific research, the international scientific community should be involved in the development of an improved method to monitor past and present research activities and their results.
4. Collaborative policies to overcome knowledge-divides in the World
The rapid development and increasing cost of science combined with the expansion of patent policies and regulations have further widened the knowledge and economic divide between the developed and developing world. In a world where the best science and the best researchers are attracted only by excellent research infrastructures, developing countries should be supported in their efforts to build their research capacities. However, co-funded actions for building capacities can only be successful if support is provided in a socially responsible way and if it creates a win-win situation for both the promoter and the recipient. Brain-drain and brain-gain policies should be co-ordinated for the joint benefit of all affected countries.
5. Capacity building for science needs to be strengthened
Scientific discoveries are foundations for innovation and social and economic development. Investment in science provides a capacity for future development at a national level and an opportunity to face global challenges internationally.
It is primarily the responsibility of governments to increase support for science, and develop effective policies for technology and innovation.
Comprehensive actions should be taken to strengthen the role of women in science and innovation and to expand the participation of women in science and science policy making.
The socio-economic impacts of science and scientific capacity are well-documented. National parliaments and governments are urged to declare their commitment to seek scientific advice during the decision making process. An institutionalisation of such an advisory process is necessary; informed decisions result in great savings.
There is an urgent need to elaborate new, effective science policies at national, regional and global levels to better co-ordinate and monitor scientific research worldwide, to harmonise university education systems, and to facilitate global and regional scientific co-operation based on equity and participation.
Article Source : WSF
November 29, 2011