Welcome to the blog for the TWAS 11th general conference taking place in Durban, South Africa, this week!
I will be filing several reports each day on this blog, focusing on what is happening in the world of harnessing science and technology for development. You will hear from a lot of bigwigs, including South Africa’s relatively new science minister Naledi Pandor and the African Union’s science commissioner Jean-Pierre Ezin.
These are interesting times. It is a while now that ‘science for development’ has been on policymakers’ lips, and it is not presumptuous to expect to see some results.
But world finances are not what they used to be, and there is a real risk in many parts of the developing world — not least Africa — that science could lose out to other pressing funding priorities.
On Wednesday, I’ll report back from what will promises to be an extremely interesting symposium on the impact of the global financial crisis on research and education in developing countries. Some funders have already said they are cutting grants, but what are the reports from the coalface?
The tougher financial times we all face these days are likely to be a recurring theme throughout the conference. But the next few days also promise to be a showcase of how, with a little ingenuity and a lot of determination, limited resources can be made to go a long way.
So watch this space!
Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net