Programme of the World Conference on Science

The Conference programme was made up of three major fora:

  • ForumI focused on a number of scientific topics of particular relevance and discussions were organized on a cross-disciplinary basis; it addressed the intellectual, institutional and economic challenges the scientific endeavour faces today and the ample opportunities that science offers for problem-solving in the years to come;
  • Forum II examined the many interfaces between science and society at large and dealt with societal requirements and expectations, ethical issues and the public understanding of science;
  • Forum III sought an increased commitment to science by governments, policy-makers and other partners, and obligations towards society on the part of the scientific community.

 

Forum II examined the many interfaces between science and society at large and dealt with societal requirements and expectations, ethical issues and the public understanding of science; Forum III sought an increased commitment to science by governments, policy-makers and other partners, and obligations towards society on the part of the scientific community.

Fora I and II consisted of plenary sessions at which the broad issues were aired, followed by a total of 25 smaller concurrent thematic meetings spread over two days. Synthetic texts were prepared by ICSU (Science for the Twenty-First Century : Background Document), ICSU’s Standing Committee on Responsibility and Ethics in Science (Ethics and the Responsibility of Science) and by the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the ICSU Committee on Science and Technology for Development (COSTED) (Science for Development in the South) to serve as Background Documents to the discussions in Fora I and II.

Forum III consisted of a single plenary debate at which all stakeholders in science were invited to express their views. More than 100 National Delegations and a number of NGOs and IGOs took the floor to outline their vision of science in the twenty-first century.

In addition, a Special Forum of the International Scientific Programmes on Environment and Sustainable Development of UNESCO and ICSU was organized, as well as a number of ad hoc regional meetings and other events held ‘in parallel’ to the official Conference programme to take advantage of the large numbers of ministers, high-ranking officials and internationally recognized scientists attending the Conference. One example was the ad hoc consultation of NGOs involved in science. Many of these parallel meetings were expected to give fresh impetus to regional and sub-regional cooperation.

A number of satellite events involving stakeholders in science were organized by the Hungarian Local Organizing Committee. These included an International Forum of Young Scientists (23-24 June 1999), which attracted 150 young scientists and pre-scientists from 57 countries. The Statement of the Young Scientists adopted during the Conference contains a number of recommendations that were subsequently incorporated into the Conference’s two primary documents, the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and the Science Agenda – Framework for Action.

Outcome of the World Conference on Science    
Follow-up to the World Conference on Science  
The World Science Forum 
The first World Science Forum on Knowledge and Society (2003)
The second World Science Forum on Knowledge, Ethics and Responsibility (2005)  
The third World Science Forum on Investing in knowledge: Investing in the Future (2007) 
Read a brief History of the World Conference on Science and World Science Forum
World Science Forum 2009
Speakers at the three World Science Fora
Tomorrow’s Davos of Science?

 

Useful links

 

Go directly to the website of the World Conference on Science
Go directly to the website of the World Science Forum

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