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Global Governance of Science: Comments on behalf of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world Peter McGrath TWAS acting programme officer,

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Presentation on theme: "Global Governance of Science: Comments on behalf of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world Peter McGrath TWAS acting programme officer,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Governance of Science: Comments on behalf of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world Peter McGrath TWAS acting programme officer, Trieste, Italy Presentation of the report: ‘Global Governance of Science’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Riga, Latvia 16 March 2009

2 2 Establishment of TWAS  Founded 1983 in Trieste, Italy, by Abdus Salam and 40 other eminent scientists from the South (incl. 10 Nobel Laureates).  Inaugurated 1985 by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Javier Perez de Cuellar.

3 3 TWAS headquarters  Located at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy.  Administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

4 4 TWAS membership  909 Members in some 90 countries  85% “Fellows” in 73 countries in the South.  15% “Associate Fellows” in 17 countries in the North.  16 Nobel Laureates. “Voice of science for the South”

5 5 TWAS objectives  Recognize, support and promote excellence in scientific research in the South.  Respond to the needs of scientists working under unfavourable conditions.  Support South-South scientific exchange and collaboration.  Promote South-North cooperation between individuals and centres of excellence.  Promote dissemination of scientific information and sharing of innovative experiences.

6 6 North-South Disparities Source: SCI, January 2007 Shares of publications North vs. South Average

7 7 South-South Disparities Source: SCI, January 2007 Top 12 of the South: World publication shares Average

8 8 Global Disparities North 77 S&T most lagging developing countries South Shares of Publications African countries contributing ≥ 0.02% of world share of ISI-listed S&E papers

9 9 Global Governance of Science

10 10 Global Governance of Science First impressions: A well-written and well-argued document; Wide-ranging and thought provoking; Many good examples are presented; Ambitious.

11 11 Global Governance of Science First impressions: A well-written and well-argued document; Wide-ranging and thought provoking; Many good examples are presented; Ambitious. But: Any attempt at global governance of science is starting from weak beginnings; Difficult to see way forward (much research needed) or even the way to unite the different initiatives cited.

12 12 Global Governance of Science TWAS, “the voice of science for the South” has been a party to UNESCO’s Bioethics curriculum, which has been tested at several centres in the developing world and has recently been published. Some specific points: Ethics across borders (page 30) Non-European cultures and informed consent (page 31) “Different perspectives on medicine, personhood and ethics are potential sources of misunderstanding” … an area tackled by the UNESCO curriculum.

13 13 Global Governance of Science Some specific points: Science divides (page 33) “… one third of the world population is neither able to produce its own technological innovations nor have access to the technologies developed by others. Yet science and technology themselves provide no easy answers. Only at a global level can governance structures begin to change systems of research and innovation so that they address global goals, with one potential resting on collaborative research.” Condescending? Ability to govern globally when S&T infrastructure in many developing countries is so weak? Collaborative research - a must!

14 14 Global Governance of Science A way forward: Conclusions: From Europe to the world (pages 37-39) “… among the important institutions on which one might build are international professional societies such as ICSU, AAAS and UNESCO...” Include TWAS - our ‘constituency’ InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP): InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP):

15 15 InterAcademy Panel (IAP) Launched in 1993, IAP is a global network of more than 100 science academies in 90 countries. Countries with merit-based science academies Africa17 Asia34 America16 Europe40 Total107

16 16 InterAcademy Panel (IAP) IAP promotes: Cooperation between member academies on science-related issues of global concern; The role of academies as independent, credible advisors to governments on policies and critical decisions based on S&T. In particular, IAP: Assists academies in developing countries to build their capacities; Serves as a forum for discussions on the complex relationship between science, society and media.

17 17 InterAcademy Panel (IAP) Issues statements on topics of global concern (e.g., human cloning, biosecurity, evolution).

18 18 InterAcademy Panel (IAP) Joint Statements by G8+5 Academies  June 2005 (Gleneagles)  Global response to climate change  June 2006 (St. Petersburg)  Avian influenza and infectious diseases  Energy Sustainability and security  May 2007 (Heiligendamm)  Promotion and protection of innovation  Growth and responsibility: sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection  June 2008 (Hokkaido Toyako)  Global Health  Climate Change Adaptation and the Transition to a Low Carbon Society

19 19 TWAS and IAP TWAS and its affiliated organizations – the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) – have a wealth of expertise in dealing with scientific issues in the developing world. These organizations stand ready to assist in the development of an agenda for the Global Governance of Science to ensure that the concerns of the developing world – and the two-thirds of humanity that it represents – are heard in the debate.

20 Thank you for your attention Peter McGrath TWAS acting programme officer


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