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World Conference on Science - Newsletter

The World Conference on Science (Budapest, 1999) proved to be a milestone in international discussion towards a new ‘social contract’ for science as we enter the twenty-first century. The present Newsletter was launched on 1 July 2000 to mark the first anniversary of the Conference.

Because so much is going on around the world to follow up the recommendations of Budapest (Key Documents) and because these activities are not always enjoying the visibility they deserve, the UNESCO Secretariat has created these pages for all its partners in the World Conference on Science process – governments, the scientific community and other stakeholders in science – to consult and enrich on a regular basis.

Over the coming months and years, send us a few lines to the fax number or e-mail address below on initiatives that you have taken, or intend to take, to implement the Budapest agenda. Use the Newsletter to publicize your activities and to share information with others.

Contributions to this Newsletter may be sent to:   wcs-newsletter@unesco.org  - Fax: (33)1 45 68 58 23




Proceedings of the World Conference on Science

Proceedings of the
World Conference
on Science





MIT offers poor universities free access to 2,000 online courses

15 July 2002 - Professors and lecturers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have agreed to post on the Internet, free of charge for all the world's higher education institutions and students, the contents of the courses given at this prestigious US university: lectures, tests, assignments, textbooks, reading materials, bibliographies, simulations, experiments, demonstrations and study programmes. (More)

Azerbaïjan celebrates 800th anniversary of astronomer's birth

11 July 2002 - In organizing a national celebration to mark the 800th anniversary of one of its most famous sons, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1274), Azerbaïjan had fixed itself three goals: to create a base for international scientific collaboration, which had suffered greatly from the collapse of the USSR; to stimulate national astronomical and mathematical research; and to help integrate science into the national culture. (More)

CUBES seals partnership between UNESCO and Columbia University

3 July 2002 - UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme and Columbia University (USA) have chosen biodiversity and society as the theme of their first joint programme. CUBES, as it is known, was launched recently to assist local communities to adapt to rapid environmental and societal change, and share information with societies facing similar upheaval. Six biologically and culturally significant sites have been chosen for assistance: Tonle Sap (Cambodia), New York City State (USA), Iquitos Floodplain (Peru), grasslands (Kenya and USA), Capetown (South Africa) and the Congo Basin (Democratic Republic of Congo) (More).

Regional water centre finds mooring in Chile

28 June 2002 - An agreement has been signed between UNESCO and the Chilean government to use $400,000 of Flemish funds to start up the new Water Centre for Arid and Semi-arid Regions of Latin America and the Caribbean. (More)

Algeria launches national plan for the environment

21 June 2002 - Algeria has launched a National Plan of Action for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Plan was presented to all Algeria's partners, including UNESCO, at an an international conference organized for the purpose on 17 June in the Algerian capital. [More]

New ‘social contract’ for Johannesburg forum echoes Budapest

10 June 2002 - Three years after the World Conference on Science adopted a ‘social contract’ between science and society, the country hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development this year has proposed that a similar contract be concluded in Johannesburg. [More]

Untangling politics of power in biodiversity management

7 June 2002 - When it comes to managing biodiversity, relations between scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and indigenous peoples can be complex, even conflictual affairs. This emerges from a seminar examining ‘NGOs, indigenous peoples and local knowledge: politics of power in the biodiversity domain’. [More]

Weakening of traditional knowledge must be reversed, notes ICSU report

4 June 2002 - An ICSU report on Science and Traditional Knowledge has expressed concern at the gradual weakening and disappearance of traditional knowledge. ‘This is a trend that must be reversed’, the authors write. [More]

Peaceful scientific cooperation in Middle East gets boost with SESAME

31 May 2002 - UNESCO has decided this week to establish the International Centre for Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) under the auspices of UNESCO. The decision was adopted during the 164th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board. [More]

Space essay contest launched by UNESCO

23 May 2002 - Together with the European Space Agency and other partners, UNESCO is organizing an international essay contest on the theme of ‘Space and Daily Life’.

Open to secondary school students around the world in the 15–18 age bracket, the contest invites students to describe how space affects them in their daily lives today and to imagine how space will influence society in the coming decades. [More]

Promoting awareness of advances in science in the Third World: Prizes to scientists from the developing countries

29 April 2002 - The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) prizes, which were launched in 1985, are among the most coveted prizes in science in the developing world. TWAS has announced that it will expand the fields in which the prizes are to be given. Prizes will now be granted in the following fields: biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, agricultural sciences, earth sciences, engineering sciences and medical sciences.[More]

Environmental ethics: from apprehension to action

28 March 2002 - Human impacts on the ecological systems of the planet have reached an unprecedented level and have a clear and a direct impact on the economy, human health, social justice, national security and global sustainable development. Such a situation calls for international action in favour of introducing the environmental ethics for global stewardship. The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), established by UNESCO in 1997, is putting in train an initiative that seeks the establishment of a universal set of values on environmental ethics. [More]

Fostering Science and Technology Policy in Senegal

18 March 2002 - The reinforcement of national capacity in science and technology policies is the major goal of a project being implemented in Senegal with support from UNESCO. The Project, launched in 2001 by the Ministry of Education, focuses on the promotion of science and technology policies that seek to coordinate the efforts of the research and industrial sectors and so derive full benefit from them. [More]

In the quest for strategies to increase participation of women in Physics

4 March 2002 - A major international Conference on Women in Physics is to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 7-9 March 2002. The event is being organized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) in co-operation with a wide range of sponsors from France, Japan, the UK, the USA, as well as international bodies such as European Commission, European Science Foundation, European Physical Society, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Latin American Centre for Physics and UNESCO. [More]


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