Science in Canada blue-print for follow-up

25 June 2001 ‘Giving meaning to the 1999 World Conference [on Science]’ is the sub-title of a report published in April this year by the National Commission of Canada for UNESCO.

According to the Introduction, Science in Canada is ‘intended as a non-exhaustive overview of programmes and initiatives that address theme areas in which Canada is particularly active and which help fulfill commitments made in the Science Agenda - Framework for Action.’

The themes chosen are all taken from the Science Agenda. Section One lists those of intrinsic interest: Ethics in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) and Bridging the Information Gap between Science and the Public ; Research and Development Capacity-building and Transdisciplinarity in the Sciences; Women, Youth and Disabled People in SET; Aboriginal Participation, Traditional Knowledge and SET; Sustainable Development and Environmental Technology and Research.

As examples of initiatives linked directly with the World Conference on Science, the report cites plans to create a Canadian chapter of the International Forum of Young Scientists set up in Budapest, a Millennium Symposium on Science and Human Rights and a preparatory meeting to be held in 2001 for an International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES).

ICWES may not be a by-product of Budapest – the triennial conference antedates Budapest by several years – but this year’s preparatory meeting for ICWES takes its inspiration from Budapest. The plan to create an international federation of women in science and technology at the preparatory meeting stems from a recommendation by the six regional associated meetings of the World Conference on Science on gender: Bariloche (Argentina), Sydney (Australia), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Turin (Italy), Bled (Slovenia), Doha (United Arab Emirates), which was incorporated into paragraph 90 of the Science Agenda.

Section Two of the report expands themes from the Science Agenda in which Canada has a demonstrated interest, namely Climate Change Research and Arctic and Circumpolar Affairs, Forestry and Science, Science for Peaceful Purposes and Human Security.

Here, the report cites inter alia plans for an Arctic University to address circumpolar challenges facing Canada and its seven artic neighbours and to improve both the Canadian and circumpolar policy research network.

Each project described in Science in Canada is accompanied by a list of source material and relevant websites.

Source: National Commission of Canada for UNESCO; for further information : info@unesco.ca