"Omnis cellula a cellula’, the biologist Rudolph Virchow stated in 1855.‘All cells arise from cells.’ It is an idea that expresses how biology is, in a sense, the most basic of the basic sciences. Biology is the very science of existence. And it has been at the core of UNESCO’s science activities since the Organization was created sixty years ago."
"1945–1960: Emerging priorities in biology:
The International Council for Science (ICSU) was the main beneficiary of UNESCO early financial support for the purpose of implementing programmes in biology through scientific organizations such as the International Union of Biological Sciences. UNESCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) created a Council for the Coordination of International Congresses of Medical Sciences, which in 1949 became the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) and the second UNESCO partner in carrying out programmes in the biological sciences. Many international training courses were organized, and meetings of experts were convened to build up future programmes with a special focus on interdisciplinary brain research, cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology and botany. In light of the multitude of challenges facing the scientific community, and considering the limited resources available to UNESCO, the Organization defined itself as a catalyst to prompt the creation of international and regional research institutes....."
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This is a shortened version of contribution: To be or not to be, UNESCO’s biological and microbiological programmes by Franck Dufour, Julia Hasler, Lucy Hoareau (pp.134-143) to Sixty Years of Science at UNESCO 1945-2005, UNESCO, 2006, (695 pages) UNESCO Publishing, Click for direct purchase.
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Franck Dufour : UNESCO consultant in the basic sciences (2004-2005); Scientific Director, Vaincre la Mucoviscidose, Paris, France
Julia Hasler: Programme Specialist for the life sciences, UNESCO Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences (since October 2003)
Lucy Hoareau: Programme Specialist for the life sciences and biotechnology, UNESCO Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences (since April 1997).