Science Day for Peace and Development provides an opportunity for
scientific organizations, scientists, governments and civil society
to join together in reaffirming - in the words of the UN Charter
- the crucial contribution of science to the promotion of social
progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, including
freedom from the scourge of war and conflict.
accumulation of scientific knowledge and the technological applications
that flow from it have transformed human life in modem times, bringing
enormous benefits to humankind. However, these benefits have been
unequally distributed, reflecting the wide disparities in wealth
and opportunity within a socially divided world. Moreover, these
benefits have too often been achieved without due regard to the
sustainability of the activities that generate them.
the same time, the uses to which science and technology have been
put have raised serious concerns about the exercise of the ethical
responsibilities implicit in the increasing influence of science
and technology upon all our lives. As underlined by the World Conference
on Science and the World Science Forum organized by UNESCO in Budapest
in 1999 and 2003 respectively, the scientific world needs to address
these issues. This must be done in two main ways: first, by integrating
the concerns underlying these issues into the scientific enterprise
itself; and, second, by showing decision-makers and the public at
large the potential contributions of science to the cause of human
betterment, including efforts to remedy the consequences of the
past misapplications of scientific knowledge.
Science Day will achieve one of its essential aims if it helps to
focus the attention of young people on science and how its goals
are congruent with their own aspirations. Trends in educational
and career choices suggest that interest in science may be waning
among the young in many parts of the world. Wise governance requires
that we reverse this trend and that enhanced efforts are made to
motivate the younger generations to take up the challenge of science.
In this regard, it is not enough to emphasize the intellectual demands
of scientific study and research; in addition, we must ensure that
the ethic of solidarity implicit in the scientific enterprise effectively
informs its purposes.
is committed to supporting initiatives that raise the profile of
science among the young. It strongly encourages the creation of
associations and networks of young scientists and has decided to
support the establishment of the World Academy of Young Scientists
(WAYS), which is aimed at enhancing the involvement of young scientists
in the science policy-making process. It similarly sponsors the
Javed Husain Prize for Young Scientists, which rewards outstanding
pure or applied research in the natural or social sciences, and
the MAB Young Scientists Awards, which encourage interdisciplinary
research on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity.
science to the young, which must include making careers in science
more financially rewarding, is essential not only to the future
of science itself but also to virtually all those goals that the
international community has set itself for the new millennium. Indeed,
these goals are encapsulated in the title of the World Science Day
for Peace and Development.