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Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council Past President–Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Science and.

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Presentation on theme: "Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council Past President–Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Science and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Goverdhan Mehta Director, Indian Institute of Science Co-Chair, InterAcademy Council Past President–Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Science and Technology Capacity and the Knowledge Society

2 The Dawn of Knowledge Era 21 st century will be the century of knowledge

3 Raw Materials Agri products Industrial products products Knowledge products Information products Innovation Networks Technology Industrial Society Agricultural Society Information Society Knowledge Society Societal Transformation Economic Growth

4 What is a Knowledge Society ? That uses knowledge holistically to empower and enrich people– and is an integral driver of sustainable development (societal transformation) A life-long learning society committed to innovation Has the capacity to generate, diffuse, utilize and protect knowledge - creates economic wealth and social equity Enlightens people towards an integrated view of life as a fusion of mind, body and spirit Planning Commission Report, India 2001

5 The Age of Science The 20 th centurys unprecedented gains in advancing human development and eradicating poverty came largely from technological breakthroughs

6 In a globalizing, knowledge driven world with increasing importance of service industries and technological competitiveness, this contribution can only become higher. S & T as an engine for development ? Consensus is emerging among policy makers and economists that at least half, if not more, of the economic growth in countries is directly attributable to science and technology.

7 There is hardly any social problem on which science cannot make some contribution -D. K. Price, Scientific Estate Science is never sufficient to solve a problem completely; it is, however, always necessary. Science for policy and Policy for Science Science for policy and Policy for Science

8 Policy, not charity, will determine whether new technologies become a tool for human development everywhere UNDP-HDR 2001 There is enough in this world for everyone's needs but not greed - Mahatma Gandhi

9 The Dignity of Work Development is about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value …..But, two thirds of the world population lives in conditions of relative to complete deprivation…..What choices do they have? ….1 billion without safe drinking water, 2.4 billion without access to basic sanitation, 1 billion illiterates…

10 The Paradox of Our Time

11 Growing inequalities Knowledge Divide

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13 Rising Inequities Inequities are rising within and between countries Assets of worlds 3 richest people exceed combined GDP of poorest 48 countries 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day and 2.8 billion on less than $2 a day (1998)

14 Industrialized nations vs Less Developed Countries (LDCs) Widening gaps in …… human resource capacity S & T infrastructure which are critical in the new knowledge based world………

15 India 1.49

16 Knowledge have nots Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 1999, USPTO Population With Internet Developed World 15% 88% Developing World 85% 12%

17 Asymmetry in scientific spending vs incomes Income = 60 times (OECD:LIE) Research = 250 times (OECD:LIE) OECD countries contribute 94% of scientific literature OECD Countries account for 85% of total R & D expenditure

18 doubled doubled yrs doubles Explosive Growth of Knowledge 00 AD 1750 doubled More new information has been generated in the last 30 years than in the previous 5000

19 Watson-Crick Galloping pace of technology Shrinking time domains ElectricityFaraday Genetic Engg. Computing Power doubles….………..18 months Networking (Band width) doubles……12 months Storage (Hard disk) doubles……………9 months

20 When R & D investments begins to exceed capital investment, the corporation can be said to be shifting from a place for production to a place for knowledge creation But, 80 countries are classified as scientifically lagging and have no capital RAND S & T Report 2001 Nanotechnology Genomics Investment Driven R&D Regime

21 Bend the Curves The Gap Time 2003 Current trends greater gaps scientific apartheid!

22 Among the many challenges of the global knowledge divide, the growing S&T gap between North and South is the most important Distribution of S & T capacities is even more lopsided than that of economic power

23 A long way to go…

24 But there is promise… The HOLE-IN-THE WALL EXPERIMENT, NIIT, INDIA Experiments in Minimally Invasive Education

25 .….and there is great potential of rich human capital in the south Population can be a renewable knowledge resource as important as capital

26 Inventing the Future Urgent Need for S & T Capacity Building for transition to the knowledge society Recognize it as a worldwide challenge

27 Capacity building is a continuum S & T Capacity Building-The Road Ahead Need for a global perspective and commitment- harmonize with local contexts Rethink by global institutions that deal with scientific knowledge New understanding of south--talent is all pervasive, access & opportunity are not Practical, pragmatic strategies

28 Broad Banding-S & T Capacities …it is more appropriate to view innovations as the fusion of different types of technology rather than as a series of technical breakthroughs. Fusion means more than a combination of different technologies:it invokes an arithmetic in which one plus one makes three F. Kodama That developing countries need only relevant technologies is a myth Every country needs the capacity to understand and adapt global technologies for local needs Integration of immediate needs and long term vision

29 10,000 years ago………….. Let Knowledge come from all sides -Rig Veda Segmentation of knowledge leads to divisiveness Let knowledge be harnessed to uplift the blossoms in the dust too

30 Clusters of Action points Human Resources-New paradigms in science education Universal scientific and technical literacy Science, its values and Societal engagement Institutions, infrastructure and networks Information access-particularly to scientific journals Public/Private partnerships Policy issues - national and international

31 Need for a major rethink at pedagogic and curricular level Imaginative synergy with other knowledge streams Rekindle interest in experiments and sensory observations Restore the inspirational role of teacher-motivator & mentor Integration with concepts of sustainable development Learning science as an enlivening experience-neither esoteric nor prosaic New Paradigms in Science Education Strengthening science education at all levels is an enabling requirement, especially for developing nations, for a self-standing national science base.

32 New initiatives in different countries are being attempted Need to share experiences and evolve local strategies IAP Science Education Program UNESCO,TWAS, ICSU ………

33 Information Access-Books and Journals ………Some silver lining Digital libraries - Million books on the web initiative –CMU & IISc MIT-OCW initiative Dig Lib in Alexandria Electronic Journals Public library of Science {PLOS) PLOS Biology, PLOS Journal of Medicine PNAS-National Academy of Sciences (USA)

34 The interactive complexity of the triumvirate of science, innovation and commercialization indicates that the linear conception of S & T for progress in the emerging knowledge society may be inadequate. Scientific revolution has outpaced social revolution for over a century now

35 Recognize indigenous knowledge-as a common heritage of humankind- many of its features could be key elements of sustainable development strategies Innovative approaches to international S & T cooperation-primacy of south-south cooperation Alliances to build capacities for the generation, infusion and absorption of technologies in real time Establish BANK to which patents can be assigned for public good, peace and happiness Towards New Understandings and Partnerships

36 The Role of the Science Academies

37 Origin of IAC Established in 2001 and supported by the worlds leading academies of sciences [Inter Academy Panel, IAP, ~90 academies ] Purpose of IAC Mobilizing the worlds best science for a better tomorrow. I nter A cademy C ouncil

38 Executive Board Academies of Science from Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States; and the Third World Academy of Sciences Co-Chairs Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences Goverdhan Mehta, Past President, Indian National Science Academy Observers International Council for Science, ICSU; InterAcademy Panel (IAP) ; and The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

39 I nter A cademy C ouncil Modus operandi Project-by-project studies, sponsor-initiated Transparent Process Independence Study panels established through broad consultations (IAP Academies) Composition of panels approved by IAC Board Merit-based Draft reports subject to intensive peer review Released after approval by the IAC Board

40 I nter A cademy C ouncil First study: Strategy for Building Worldwide Capacities in Science and Technology. (Expected release Dec 2003, Mexico City) Second study: Science and Technology for Improving Agricultural Productivity in Africa (Expected completion Jan 2004) Third study initiated: Towards Transitions to Sustainable Energy Systems (under implementation)

41 I nter A cademy C ouncil Activities Planned Gender Issues in Science & Technology Use of Internet for Distance Education in S & T Science and Technology in Preserving World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)

42 Today, the Third World is only slowly waking up to the realization that in the final analysis, creation, mastery and utilization of modern science and technology is basically what distinguishes the South from the North. On S &T depend the standards of living of a nation - Prof. Abdus Salam Founder TWAS

43 Thank You


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