Ministerial Round Table on the basic sciencesSome 50 science ministers and high-ranking officials in charge of science policy will participate on October 13 and 14 in a debate about the challenges facing the basic sciences. The goal of the Round Table, to be held at UNESCO Headquarters during the Organization’s General Conference, is to review action to ensure that the sciences are able to play their part fully as the “lever for development.”
Many countries lack scientific infrastructures and resources and the young are losing interest in scientific careers, despite the fact, highlighted at the World Conference on Science (Budapest, Hungary, 1999), that science is a key factor for both economic and social development.
The two-day debates, to be opened by UNESCO’s Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at 9.30 a.m., will address four themes:
Thursday October 13
- 9.30-10.30 a.m.: opening session.
- 10.30-1 p.m.: “The Basic Sciences: Challenges in the 21st Century” What are the latest challenges brought by the new technologies, in both North and South, and what framework for international cooperation needs to be established?
- 3-5.30 p.m.: “National and Regional Priorities for Cooperation in the Basic Sciences”, or how to coordinate regional and national priorities with those identified as global.
- 5.30-6.30 p.m.: “Building Capacity in the Basic Sciences: Relevance to Developing Countries”. The session will concentrate on initiatives needed to build capacities in the sciences and to foster young talents.
Friday October 14
- 9.30-11 a.m.: Previous session continued.
- 11-1 p.m.: Science Policy and the Role of the Basic Sciences for Governmental Decision-Making”. The session will focus on expertise, intellectual property rights and research funding.
- 4-6 p.m.: Conclusions and recommendations.
The participants are expected to adopt a communiqué at the end of the debates.
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