5th World Science Forum "The Changing Landscape of Science: Challenges and Opportunities"

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), © Zoltán Bese

The fifth edition of the prestigious biennial World Science Forum was held from 17 to 19 November 2011 in Budapest. This year’s Forum explored "The Changing Landscape of Science: Challenges and Opportunities".

The forum provided an international platform for parliamentarians, scientists, policy-makers, representatives of the media and members of civil society from all over the world to debate emerging and existing global scientific issues. One of the aims of the Forum is to provide an interdisciplinary and policy environment in which stakeholders may dialogue on how to improve science governance while ensuring a sustainable future for all.

This year’s programme covered a number of topical issues, including: Emerging Powerhouses in Science and Technology; Higher Education's Perspectives, Dynamics and Implications; Emerging and Re-emerging Infections; Policy Implications and Drivers; and the new generation of science and researchers. In keeping with previous forums, young scientists were also able to share their knowledge and experiences, particularly with regard to how scientific collaboration is being affected by the changing landscape of science.

The Forum was organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, greeted participants via a video message. The conference was opened by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the World Science Forum, in the presence of Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary.

Some of the speakers included Ahmed Zewail, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, California Institute of Technology; HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of El Hassan Science City and the Royal Scientific Society from Jordan, Aloizio Mercadante, Minister of Science and Technology, Brazil; Roger N. Beachy Wolf Prize Laureate, Former Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US; Gebisa Ejeta 2009 World Food Prize Laureate, Science Envoy of President Barack Obama; Daniel Hershkowitz, Minister of Science of Israel; and H. E. Katalin Bogyay, President of the UNESCO General Conference. The President of Hungary, H.E. Pál Schmit, attended the closing ceremony.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General Gretchen Kalonji made a keynote speech in Budapest on the findings of the UNESCO Science Report 2010: the Current Status of Science around the World, the report which inspired the theme of this year’s Forum on the changing landscape of science.

The following edition of the World Science Forum was held in 2013 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. This move may be viewed as a reflection of the changing landscape of science and a recognition that rotating the Forum’s location adds new ideas and dynamism to this biennial event.

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