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					Strengthening International
 Science for the Benefit of
          Society

      Goverdhan Mehta,
       ICSU President
       ICSU: a long history

   • Founded in 1931, but roots back to 1899
   • A membership organization with:
     103 National Members (mostly Academies)
      29 International Scientific Unions
   • Establishes interdisciplinary bodies; sponsors
     programs in key areas of global concern
   • Limited finances but unique worldwide access
     to intellectual resources
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               ICSU mission

 ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the
 international science community to:
• Identify and address major issues of importance to science
  and society
• Facilitate interaction of scientists across disciplines and
  among nations
• Promote participation of all scientists regardless of race,
  citizenship, language, political stance or gender
• Stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific
  community, governments, civil society and the private sector

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     The ICSU Vision

    “A world where science is used for the
    benefit of all, excellence in science is valued
    and scientific knowledge is effectively linked
    to policy-making. In such a world, universal
    and equitable access to scientific data and
    information is a reality and all countries have
    the scientific capacity to use these ….”


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     The ICSU Vision

    “A world where science is used for the
    benefit of all, excellence in science is valued
    and scientific knowledge is effectively linked
    to policy-making. In such a world, universal
    and equitable access to scientific data and
    information is a reality and all countries have
    the scientific capacity to use these ….”


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  “It’s not what the vision is, it’s
   what the vision does….”
                       - Peter Senge

   ICSU Strategic Plan 2006-2011
   • Process: 6yrs of intense evaluation, review,
     planning and dialogue with scientists across the
     world
   • Priority setting: Science driven prioritization of
     societally important issues
   • Product(s): A total of 13 separate expert reviews,
     reports and statements www.icsu.org
   Implementation strategy
   GA charge to EB & CSPR
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Science- beyond discovery
 Addressing human needs and concerns

Broader engagement underpins science of the
future to meet new global challenges and
increased societal expectations

  In the 21st century, need for a more inclusive
                 view of science


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Three major inter-related themes


                         International
                           Research
                         Collaboration


                     Science         Universality
                    and Policy       of Science


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    International Research
    Collaboration
      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental
        Hazards and Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health
      • Sustainable Energy

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           Earth System Science
                Partnership

               • an integrated study of the Earth System,
               • the changes occurring to the System, and
               • the implications for global sustainability.




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A successful, timely, science based engagement

The four global change
programmes provide
the framework for the
science on which IPCC
assessments are built.




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ICSU’s role: Global Change example



 100%                     Research                           US$ 2 bn


 0.5%                    Planning and                       US$ 10 mn
                         Coordination

 0.005%                  Initialization                     US$ 100 k

 Seeding and catalysis       ICSU



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                    Millennium Ecosystem
                         Assessment




      Strengthening capacity to manage ecosystems sustainably
                       for human well-being
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ICSU was an institutional
partner in the Millennium
Ecosystem        Assessment,
which besides unravelling
many key scientific issues,
feeds into UN conventions
on:
• Biodiversity,
• Desertification,
• Migratory Species

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    International Research
    Collaboration

      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental
        Hazards and Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health
      • Sustainable Energy

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International Polar Year
2007 - 2008




Countries >50, research ideas >500, expected funding ~$2 bn

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    International Research
    Collaboration

      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Hazards and
        Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health
      • Sustainable Energy

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Understanding, predicting, mitigating…
ICSU focus on environment




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    International Research
    Collaboration
      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental
        Hazards and Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health
      • Sustainable Energy

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   Integration of three pillars: environment,
   social, and economic



     SCIENCE
                                                     POLICY


    TECHNOLOGY




    Connecting local livelihoods and global environment
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Sustainable development

 Departure point- “Our Common Journey” and
  builds upon the WSSD process
 Making science policy relevant; participatory
  approaches with other stakeholders; bridging the
  knowledge divide, S & T capacity building for SD
 Initiative on Science and Technology for
  Sustainability (ISTS)-consortium approach-
  TWAS, UNESCO…


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    International Research
    Collaboration
      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental
        Hazards and Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health and Well-being
      • Sustainable Energy

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       From aging population to emerging diseases




      Infectious diseases and malaria to SARS, Avian flu…..
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    International Research
    Collaboration
      • Linking research, monitoring, and assessments
        with focus on global environmental change
      • International Polar Year 2007-2008
      • Natural and Human-Induced Environmental
        Hazards and Disasters
      • Science for Sustainable Development
      • Science for Human Health
      • Sustainable Energy

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Common features

• Complex scientific challenges
• New knowledge and new approaches necessary
• Trans-disciplinary: natural and social sciences
  need to work together
• Many stakeholders outside of science involved
• Politically (and commercially) sensitive
• Raise issues of equity and openness
• Critical links between local and global challenges
  and solutions

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   Science for Policy

   Policy, not charity, will determine whether modern
   science and technology become a tool for
   development everywhere ….and for all


                    There is enough on this earth for
                    everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s
                    greed           - Mahatma Gandhi



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“There is hardly any social problem on which
science cannot make some contribution”
                   -D. K. Price, Scientific Estate

                    Science for policy
                            and
                    Policy for Science

Science is never sufficient to solve a problem
completely; it is, however, always necessary.

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   Promoting Science for Policy

    • Ensure that international research
      programmes address key policy issues
    • Participate in major international
      assessments
    • Produce authoritative statements
    • Speak as the voice of international
      science in policy fora

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 Authoritative Statements


Statement by the
international science
community on the
Millennium Development
Goals to the United
Nations General
Assembly, September
2005.

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    Universality of Science

      • The Principle of Universality of Science
           – Freedom and Responsibility in science


      • Reaching out to all countries:
           – Access to Data and Information
           – Regional Offices
           – Capacity Building

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    The Principle of
    Universality of Science

      ICSU Statute 5:
      • Founding principle of ICSU
      • Stipulates non-discrimination and equity
        in the conduct of science
      • Shared responsibility for all scientists in
        promoting and upholding the principle
      • Freedoms also imply responsibilities

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Equitable Access to
Scientific Information

• Policies:
     – Full and open access to scientific data
     – Universal and equitable access to scientific
       publications
• Mechanisms, eg International Network for the
  Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)
• Coordination and partnerships– develop a multi-
  stakeholder Scientific Data and Information Forum
  (SciDiF)
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   ICSU Regional Offices

• ICSU Regional Office for Africa inaugurated in
  September this year
• Further Offices to follow soon in the Arab Region,
  Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean
Aim:
  To ensure that the voice of developing countries
  influences the international agenda setting and
  that scientists from the South are fully involved in
  the research
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   S & T Capacity Building
The widening gap in ……
     human resource capacity &
     S & T infrastructure
are the most critical in the new knowledge
based competitive world………and many of
the asymmetries are directly related to it
     Distribution of S & T capacities is even more
        lopsided than that of economic power

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 A basic paradigm………
World is asymmetric, not only in socio-economic
arena but more so in S & T capacities




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    Strategic Partners
 • The UN System, including:
      – UNESCO
      – UNEP and its Science Initiative
      – Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD)
      – WMO, Climate Change, IPY, Natural Hazards
 • The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World
   (TWAS)
 • The technological community (WFEO, CAETS)


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 Partnerships:
A necessity -neither a luxury nor a political compulsion- for
   facing the global S & T challenges of the 21st century
Sustainable energy - new sources
Climate change - global warming
Health - emerging diseases- AIDS, SARS, obesity
Natural hazards -tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes
Environment - biodiversity conservation, extinctions
Knowledge divide – ICT penetration
Population stabilization – 9 bn by 2025!
Sustainable development – a new way of life
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     In Conclusion
•  Strengthening science for the benefit of
  society
• Promote the use of cutting edge science to
  address global challenges, stimulate innovation
  and for informed decision making
• Towards a fine balance between freedom and
  responsibility in the pursuit of Science
• Explore new mechanisms to share scientific
  knowledge and its understanding with
  stakeholders in society

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