Basic Sciences in the Service of Societies: Challenges and
Opportunities for Cooperation in Central Asia
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 21-22 October, 1998
Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan
National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO
Conclusion and recommendations
Summary of discussion
The promises of science and perspectives for science in the coming
What our young scientists need to know.
The goals of the Regional Conference were to:
- undertake an analysis of the main achievements in science, current problems and the
forthcoming challenges in science with attention given to the role of science in the
- foster the renewal of regional co-operation within Central Asian countries in the
sharing of scientific knowledge in the age of information technologies;
- give a new impetus to the development of science and its applications in the service of
development, environmental and water protection, and in building a culture of peace;
- engender the renovation of scientific education, particularly within the framework of
'education for all throughout life';
- further improve the public understanding of science as part of common development;
- contribute a presentation of regional scientific activities to the forthcoming World
Conference on Science to be held in Budapest, Hungary, in 1999.
- formulate recommendations on future actions and proposals for projects to reinforce the
collaboration with UNESCO;
- explore the possibilities of setting up a regional strategy of co-operation in the field
of scientific activities.
The Regional Conference was attended by 25 policy-makers and prominent scholars
representing various scientific institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz
Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
There were five sessions, based on the approved programme of the Conference:
1st session: The priorities for the development of national scientific
research potential and the role of the educational system.
2nd session: Science and the rational use of mineral resources of the region
3rd session: The development of human and social sciences
4th session: Sustainable development in the region Linked with the Aral Sea
5th session: Joint programmes and centres for the solving of regional
scientific and technical problems.
All participants from Central Asian countries made presentations on behalf of their
national institutions and educational establishments, the scientific community, the
industrial sector, which included many important data concerning the situation of science
and technology in Central Asian countries. All Conference materials will be published in
Russian and English.
Summary of discussion
During the Closing Session, the final recommendations were adopted. This final document
incorporates the suggested amendments. At the end of the Conference, all participants
discussed the above-mentioned items proposed by UNESCO.
Concerning the present situation of science and scientific activities in Central Asian
countries, which are undergoing a transitional process from a communist system to
democracy and a free market economy, participants described the advantages and
difficulties of national policies in the field of science and technology. All participants
noted that, for more successful development of science and technology, it is necessary to
increase financial assistance not only from governments or non-governmental organizations,
but from international organizations as well.
All participants in the Regional Conference noted the great role of science in the
process of nation building. Discussions took place on the following items:
||The promises of science and
perspectives for science in the coming decades
||Demands for science. The frontiers of science. Towards interdisciplinary
research and the need for regional co-operation in research. Ethical issues associated
with new developments. Scientific research as an essential means of meeting society's
needs in food, water, energy, health care, shelter, safety and the alleviation of poverty.
Science as a key component of social and economic well-being. Investment in human capital.
Science as a basic for modern technologies. Science policies for the future. The internal
driving force of science. The case for fundamental research. Improving our knowledge and
understanding of nature. What are the fundamental questions for science today? Complexity
in nature: new calculation tools and theoretical approaches in mineralogy, meteorology,
seismology, evolution... What have we learnt about complex systems, what are the prospects
for our description and its limits?
||What our young scientists need to
||How can science education be improved? National and international
strategies for capacity building. An institutional framework for science education. Good
practices and conduct in scientific research. Ethical principles and values in science.
Education of scientists as conscientious and responsible citizens. Promotion of science
for peaceful purposes. Ethical challenges of modern scientific developments. Research and
development of conventional and alternative energies. Present status and prospects for:
fossil fuels, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, solar energy.... Patterns of energy
production, distribution, consumption. Challenges for scientific research.
These discussions permitted a clear statement to be delivered to societies and their
decision-makers on what science has to offer in the years and decades to come.
The participants appreciated very much the efforts made by the Organizing Committee of the
Regional Conference, which was devoted to a dialogue between scientists, governments,
industrialists and representatives of the general public at the interface between science
The participants also discussed the issue of the establishment of the Regional Board of
the Academic Secretaries of all Academies of Sciences of Central Asian countries. In
the opinion of participants, the creation of such a Board would allow the best
co-ordination of regional scientific activities and scientific projects and a regional
strategy for science and technology. This idea was launched for approval by the
governments of Central Asian states.
The participants in the Regional Conference 'The Basic Sciences in the Service of
Societies: Challenges and Opportunities for Co-operation in Central Asia', which was
organized in Tashkent,
- Expressing their acknowledgment to UNESCO, the
Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO for
their support and assistance in organizing the Regional Conference, which gave an
opportunity to discuss important achievements in the field of fundamental sciences in
- Noting with satisfaction that the development of
fundamental sciences is the priority in the policy of Central Asian countries;
- Recognizing the efforts of the national
organizations and institutions, the activity of which is aimed at the establishment and
development of joint regional and international contacts;
- Expressing anxiety at the unsatisfactory level of
regional co-operation in the field of the development of fundamental sciences;
- Welcoming and recognizing the fact that the World
Conference on Science for the 21st century, which will be held in Budapest in 1999, will
assist in raising understanding of science through the system of education and
popularization of science,
Call on UNESCO to:
- tender moral and financial assistance for the
creation of scientific networks and for the development of fundamental sciences in the
Central Asian countries as well as for the natural, human and social sciences;
- assist in involving regional academic centers and
projects in the world scientific network;
- invite regularly the scientists of Central Asia to
participate in the conferences, seminars and training courses organized under the
patronage of UNESCO in various countries of the world and to involve the scientists of the
region in UNESCO's scientific programmes;
- assist in the development of technical possibilities
of the secretariats of the national committees of Central Asian countries for the UNESCO
programmes MAB (Man and Biosphere), MOST (Management of Social Transformations), IHP
(International Hydrological Programme) and IGCP (International Geological Correlation
- attract the scientists of Central Asian countries to
the activity of the International Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Acquaintance with
Technologies and the International Center on Science and High Technologies;
- stimulate the establishment of UNESCO Chairs within
the institutions of higher education on the actual directions of fundamental sciences and
to involve these Chairs in the world network of institutions.
Recommend that the governments of Central Asian countries:
- strengthen the role of the States in investing in
science, supporting new research in the field of fundamental sciences and new
- assist in the development of human and social
sciences through the establishment of new disciplines on the civil code and moral ethics
in educational institutions;
- reinforce regional co-operation in the field of
science, technology and education;
- promote the re-editing into national languages of
Central Asian countries of UNESCO's six-volume edition entitled, History of
Civilizations of Central Asia.
Recommend that the International Institute of Central Asian
- highlight the development of science in Central Asia
and new science trends taking place in the world in the publications of IICAS;
- initiate the new projects and programmes of regional
co-operation in the field of natural and social sciences.
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