World Science Forum kicks off in BudapestIs science a force for good, promoting social and economic development, or a negative force that is ‘unweaving rainbows’, as it is often portrayed? As science and technology have an increasing impact on everyday life, it is important that the general public have opportunities for debate and that decision-makers remain well informed.
It is in this spirit that UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU), in partnership with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, are organizing the first World Science Forum in Budapest (Hungary) from November 8 to 10.
With more than 300 delegates expected, from over 60 countries, the World Science Forum will be an opportunity to review developments since the first World Conference on Science, held in Budapest in 1999. The Forum will be officially opened by Ferenc Mádl, President of the Republic of Hungary.
The list of distinguished speakers at the conference includes: E. Sylvester Vizi, president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Lámfalussy, first president of the European Monetary Institute, John Marburger III, chief scientific advisor to the President of the United States, Goverdhan Mehta, president-elect of ICSU, Achilleas Mitsos, director-general of science at the European Commission (DG-XII), Etienne Davignon, CEO of Société Générale de Belgique, Vernon Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics (2002), Tero Ojanperä, Senior vice-president of Nokia, Alain Pompidou, chairman of the French bioethics committee, leading Japanese neuroscientist and policy-maker, Masao Ito, Mohammed El-Ashry, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, Peter Freeman, Assistant Director of the US National Science Foundation, Hans Wigzell, chief scientific advisor to the Swedish government, and Craig Venter, the first scientist to map the human genetic code.
An International Round table on “Science and Peace: From Talk to Action” will be held in Budapest during the Forum, to underline the role of scientific cooperation for peace in regions in conflict. The presentations and discussions will focus on concrete experiences of cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian scientists, in particular on the creation of a Science Centre at the Al Qudz University in Jerusalem (East). At the close of the Forum, on November 10, which has been designated by UNESCO as World Science Day, there will be a ceremony to award this year’s UNESCO science prizes.
For further information and a full programme of the meeting, see http://www.sciforum.hu/prog.html.