Address delivered during FORUM IIIby Dr Raoul Kneucker
Director-General, Federal Ministry of Science and Transport
The World Conference on Science for the Twenty-first century addresses the role of science, research and technology, a role which has recently undergone fundamental change. It is UNESCO that acknowledges this important fact very early. This Conference is called at precisly the right moment in time.
Nowadays, we are confronted with the results of scientific research directly and day by day. It does not take generations to weld the results of scientific research into feasible products, services and technologies. Today internationalization and globalization give at the same time an impetus and a momentum for the results of scientific and industrial development.
The well-prepared conference documents prove that up-to-date international cooperation in the field of science, research and technology relies on joint actions and shared responsibility - this means that international scientific cooperation no longer depends solely on the exchange of knowledge and on mobility programmes for scientists and researchers but is now also the joint international production of knowledge.
The documents correctly mention the existing controversies concerning international trends and developments, for example:
In general, Austria agrees with the findings of the documents and welcomes them; nevertheless we insist on a principal and fundamental debate on the (technical) term science. In our perception, science has to be understood in a broad, wide and all-embracing manner since all of the different sciences and disciplines are to contribute to the scientific, economic, social and cultural development of humankind.
The ideal we pursue is science without borders and in that sense we need a new commitment for science. I prefer this term over social contract, for social contract is a historical European term and does not express the complex relationships of science in today`s society.)
- a new commitment of scientists to society:
- a new commitment of societies and goverments to science and scientists:
* governments must take measures in order to prevent waste of talent, in particular, by excluding women and minorities from participation in science.
- a new commitment of scientists and science institutions, not only governments, to participate in international programs: