15.03.2012 - The UNESCO Courier

Science: a new perspective on intellectual property

Karen Hallberg at UNESCO, March 2012.

The moral and social responsibility of scientists is the subject of a workshop at UNESCO on 14-15 March, organized with the French branch of the Pugwash Movement. Founded in 1957 by Polish physicist Joseph Rotblat and British philosopher and social critic Bertrand Russell, Pugwash is an international organization of scientists and public figures dedicated to global security and arms control.

Over 100 participants are attending the workshop. They’re tasked with identifying specific areas where Pugwash could really make a difference and advance international cooperation. The workshop will also be aiming to reinforce the partnership between the Pugwash Movement and UNESCO, in particular its World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) of which the Pugwash President, Jayantha Dhanapal from Sri Lanka, is ex-officio member.

One particularly important topic on the agenda is the privatization of scientific knowledge, writes Karen Hallberg. Privatization limits access to the benefits of scientific progress, in vital areas such as nanotechnology for example, and increases inequality.  

Read the article in Spanish.

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