Back to UNESCO World Science Conference

Science for Development in the South


Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)
Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries (COSTED)

prepared by

Prof. D. Balasubramanian
Director of Research
Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, India

Helpful suggestions received from Prof. A.M. Cetto, Prof. M.H.A. Hassan, Prof. Lu Y.X., Prof. C.N.R. Rao, Prof. J.I. Vargas, Prof. S.O. Wandiga and Dr. V. Zharov are gratefully acknowledged.

Recognition of science as a major tool for development is manifested better when it is built in as an instrument in the blueprint of a nation for its economic progress. Gratifyingly, some countries of the South have already adopted national science and technology policy resolutions in their economic plans, a move that provides long-term perspective, a commendable step worthy of emulation. In adopting such a policy, the role of the private sector in supporting and fueling S & T efforts is integral, and should be actively sought. Experiences of the developed nations exemplify this aspect. This takes the form of not serving the end-product supply alone, but in the steps leading to the creation of the products as well. That involves close relations between private industry on the one hand and universities and research institutes on the other. Much progress in the sectors of biotechnology, information and communications technology has resulted because of private sector support to science and technology.

The South, it is important to realize, is not a single block but a rainbow of nations with gradation of tradition, experiences, expertise, achievements and excellence. Sharing of individual country experiences is vital in the effort of linking S & T policies to national plans for development and enhancement of the quality of life. Importantly, such sharing experiences help address the grassroots problems of the South, help them rid the isolation of scientists and bring dignity and status to the scientific profession.

The World Conference on Science (WCS), attended by scientists, policy planners, economists, social scientists, legislators and heads of governments, international agency representatives and media people affords as opportunity for such exchange and, as the ancient Indian sage said, would "let noble thoughts come from all sides".


Back to UNESCO Home PageBack to Science Sector Home PageBack to WCS Home Page