Ms. Anne-Sophie Stevance
International Council for Science (ICSU)
Fax: +33 1 42 88 94 31
Mr. Jorge Spitalnik
World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO)
1 rue Miollis - Maison de 1 UNESCO,
75015 Paris, France
Tel: +55 21 2267 4050;
Fax: +55 21 2522 2760
Ms. Heide Hackmann, PhD
International Social Science Council
UNESCO House, 1 rue Miollis
75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
48. We recognize the important contribution of the scientific and technological community to sustainable development. We are committed to working with and fostering collaboration among the academic, scientific and technological community, in particular in developing countries, to close the technological gap between developing and developed countries and strengthen the science-policy interface as well as to foster international research collaboration on sustainable development.
Agenda 21: Chapter 31
SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY
31.1. The present chapter focuses on how to enable the scientific and technological community, which includes, among others, engineers, architects, industrial designers, urban planners and other professionals and policy makers, to make a more open and effective contribution to the decision-making processes concerning environment and development. It is important that the role of science and technology in human affairs be more widely known and better understood, both by decision makers who help determine public policy and by the general public.
The cooperative relationship existing between the scientific and technological community and the general public should be extended and deepened into a full partnership. Improved communication and cooperation between the scientific and technological community and decision makers will facilitate greater use of scientific and technical information and knowledge in policies and programme implementation. Decision makers should create more favourable conditions for improving training and independent research in sustainable development. Existing multidisciplinary approaches will have to be strengthened and more interdisciplinary studies developed between the scientific and technological community and policy makers and with the general public to provide leadership and practical know-how to the concept of sustainable development.
The public should be assisted in communicating their sentiments to the scientific and technological community concerning how science and technology might be better managed to affect their lives in a beneficial way. By the same token, the independence of the scientific and technological community to investigate and publish without restriction and to exchange their findings freely must be assured. The adoption and implementation of ethical principles and codes of practice for the scientific and technological community that are internationally accepted could enhance professionalism and may improve and hasten recognition of the value of its contributions to environment and development, recognizing the continuing evolution and uncertainty of scientific knowledge.