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Effects of Global Business on Scientific Research
WIPO Building, Geneva (Switzerland), 3-4 June 1999

First International Conference

 

Preamble    Back to top

Eminent scientists and science communicators met at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to exchange views and suggest recommendations to states and international organizations. The meeting was organized by the Science and Conscience of Man Foundation in collaboration with the International Federation of Science Editors (IFSE), a Scientific Associate of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The topics addressed covered the First and Third Worlds and countries in transition:

  • The framework of scientific research today: academia and industry
  • Relationships between scientific research, innovation and competitive business
  • The perception by the public of scientific research versus competitive business in society
  • Transitions in intellectual property rights
  • Science bringing nations and people together – the global nature of scientific research
  • Roles and responsibilities:

- of scientists, principles of ethics and awareness
- of enterprises, principles of fairness
- of states, principle of funding and social development
- of international organizations, principle of legal protection.

Within the impressive venue, scientists from academia, industry and the communications world concurred as to the prime importance of information exchange provision and access - by all regions of the world and by the public as well as by scientists. Globalization is with us. Scientists in the North and South have much to contribute to each other and have become increasingly interdependent. And scientists and the society they serve need each other.

Discussions were lively, open and provocative among this varied group of independent thinkers, but all agreed that our recommendations must be such that they could lead to concrete actions. The Science and Conscience Foundation and the IFSE, which has been dedicated since its inception in 1977 to globalization of scientific communication, are determined to implement the suggested recommendations. Mr Kamal ldris, Secretary-General of WIPO, offered full support to the objectives which are most compatible with those of WIPO to secure intellectual property rights of scientists and to make knowledge widely understood and available to all sectors of society and its decision-makers.

Recommendations    Back to top

The recommendations of the present Conference aim to obtain better protection from the adverse effects of competitive business for scientific research and for scientists’ financial and moral rights.

Science is a sophisticated creative intellectual activity of mankind, driven by the curiosity and needs of individuals freely using their brains and sensitivity.

In the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the increasing complexity of science and technology, their social and economic importance and the worldwide spread of science's products stress as never before the crucial social role of scientists, engineers and technicians.

Universal diffusion of scientific information to scientists from all around the world and communication of the rationale of science to the public at large are two requisites of this unique adventure of mankind.

The Science and Conscience of Man Foundation and its Advisory Board composed of speakers at the present Conference consequently recommend to the World Conference on Science that:

  • it protect the intellectual freedom and right to diverse opinions by individual scientists; that scientists share the legal and economic rights and profits of their discoveries and are guaranteed their full freedom of conscience;
  • ethical standards be promoted among senior, as well as junior, scientists and that the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center be made better-known and accessible. Its scope should be extended to include legal advice and help to those whose Intellectual Property is abused and who do not have the means to employ legal advice.
  • it urge scientists and the scientific community - in order to promote trust of the citizen in science and technology - to communicate proactively with the public; to improve the communication of science and engineering to the citizens of our society. All scientists and engineers should be trained and encouraged to meet face-to-face with people to talk with them about the nature of research and its application and the implications for our society.
  • it urge nations, governments, national and international scientific institutions to develop a universal communications network to enhance, expand and improve the flow of scientific information; to link the global scientific community through two-way flows of communication between developed and developing countries, and countries in transition; improve telecommunications infrastructures, the power supply and computer technologies;
  • as part of graduate training abroad, scientists from the South be provided with training, tools and incentives to work towards development in their local environment upon return; that careers in information science be encouraged;
  • data bases be developed by the South to take stock of publications and research institutions and help information of merit to be accessed directly or through international indexes which could be expanded accordingly. Relatively minor funding is required and could have significant impact.

 

Contacts    Back to top
For further information, please contact Science et Conscience of Man at: hpsambus@yahoo.com or the IFSE at: miriam.balaban@aquila.infn.it

 

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