Value of Fundamental Science
Meeting of National Academies of sciences and
The heads of national academies of sciences and scientific funds of Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine who participated in the present meeting address the following message to the World Conference on Science.
Humankind is on the threshold of a new millennium. What outcomes in development will be brought about by humankind at this turning-point? What new achievements of the human spirit and mind and unforeseen social, technological. and ecological cataclysms can our civilization expect next century? Is it possible to avoid these cataclysms? Here are the problems which worry the global public on the eve of a new millennium. The search for the answers to these problems will be promoted by the World Conference on Science.
The efforts of scientists from different countries around the world have led to the accumulation of a huge intellectual potential, especially in the natural and engineering sciences. Rational and systematic use of this potential could solve a lot of problems facing civilization in a relatively short period of time. On the other hand, the imperfection of social organization of community life could become a powerful destructive force.
The participants suppose that the settling of contradictions between high-level technological development and the level of social, political, economic, moral and legal organization of the human community essentially depends on the successes of fundamental science and its implementation in modern life.
Fundamental science is a source of new knowledge and provides an information base for the search for the best ways to overcome the global civilization crisis. It is fundamental science which offers the most comprehensive information about all aspects of life in the modern global society. The results of fundamental research have a direct influence on the life of society as a whole: they create the knowledge base used by specialists working in concrete areas of technologies and various spheres of public life.
The variety of existing organizational forms of fundamental science in the world should be preserved, particularly in countries where national academies serve as a basic form of organization of fundamental science. Preservation and support of such organizational structures by the global community has to be considered advisable. In many countries around the world, the national academies of sciences are the scientific establishments capable of organizing optimally interdisciplinary fundamental research.
In order to make maximum use of all available intellectual potential on the planet to overcome the global civilization crisis, the participants consider necessary broader integration of scientific organizations in developing countries and countries with an economy in transition, including national academies of sciences of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Eastern Europe, in a realization system of the main international scientific programmes and projects. The similar full-scale integration will become possible only if scientists from countries of the CIS and Eastern Europe participate in the international scientific programmes and projects and this participation does not depend on non-scientific criteria.
The national academies of sciences and other scientific organizations performing fundamental research are obliged to make the global society acquainted with the newest results of research in every possible way to protect public consciousness worldwide from attempts to fill it with myths and to prevent the spread of occult notions. Many international and military conflicts, public and financial shocks, collective suicides and other negative phenomena in modern society are the consequence of the mythologization of public consciousness. Fundamental science can help the modern community to avoid these negative phenomena.
The World Conference on Science should :