The theme of UNESCO's Philosophy ForumThe growth of knowledge, technology and science has changed the world. But today, everything connected with knowledge is taking on a new and crucial dimension. Not only do science and technology have visible effects on human existence, the very process of learning - and its spread through information and communication - is affected and intensified by technological innovation.
This revolution calls for a new look at science and knowledge. The UNESCO Philosophy Forum, which will bring together a score of well-known thinkers in a wide range of fields from all over the world, on September 13 (10 a.m. - 7.30 p.m., Room II at UNESCO Headquarters), will aim to do this.
This new series of Philosophy Forums, which will be opened by UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, is organized by UNESCO’s Division of Foresight, Philosophy and Human Sciences. The revival of the Forums, which were last held in the 1990s, demonstrates UNESCO’s commitment to encourage multidisciplinary debate by creating an arena for exchange of knowledge and intercultural dialogue about the main issues of modernity and society.
Who knows? In other words, what agent, what individual or collective element, what person or group produces, conveys and uses any given knowledge? Why? To what end and with what results? How is the power this agent exerts over others increased by knowledge acquired and applied?
In the emerging society where the flow of knowledge seems (rightly or wrongly) indistinguishable from more and more complex technology that transmits the information, who will take control of the knowledge? Who will monopolize or share it? Who will control its transmission and distribution? Who will be able to receive it, absorb it and make use of it? All these questions, which apply to urgent issues of education, inequality and integration and involve the generators of economic, social and cultural development, will be tackled at the Forum, through five topics.
10.10-11.30 a.m. - Who creates knowledge today? Moderated by Aziza Bennani, Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board, with Enzo del Bufalo (Towards a new knowledge economy? The military, business and universities.), Luc Montagnier (Towards a conflict among laboratories? Rivalries and solidarities.) and Paulin Hountondji (What future for indigenous knowledge in emerging knowledge societies ?)
11.30 a.m.-1 p.m. - Who transmits, who receives, who uses this knowledge? Moderated by Ahmad Jalali, President of the UNESCO General Conference, with Kristóf
Nyiri (New information technologies: towards knowledge?), Peter Scott (A new kind of academic warfare? Educational systems, universities and networks in the 21stCentury) and Régis Debray (The information society: transmission or communication?).
2.30-4 p.m. - Who controls knowledge? Moderated by Jacques Attali, with Spiros Simitis (Towards a society of secrecy?), Elia Zureik (Who knows what about whom? Towards a generalization of surveillance?) and Jean-Joseph Goux (Towards new forms of counter- knowledge)
4-5.30 p.m. - Who does not know? Moderated by Thierry Gaudin, with Tadao Takahashi (Who is connected? New inequalities and the Digital Divide), Peter Jarvis (Who learns what? How and When? Are education, apprenticeship and stages of life reshaped by new information technologies?) and Dominique Lecourt (Towards a competition among forms of knowledge? Natural sciences, social and human sciences: conflict or cooperation?)
5.30-7 p.m. - Who does not know anymore? Moderated by Julia Kristeva, with Jérôme Bindé (Who no longer remembers? Loss of memory or liberation of the mind?), Yuri Afanassiev (Old and new forms of knowledge: acceleration and obsolescence), Hide Ishiguro (Is all knowledge partial and provisional?) and Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Beyond knowledge, non-knowledge?)
7 p.m. - Closing address by Jean d’Ormesson.
Journalists wishing to cover the Forum should register with the Press Service, tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48