Declaration calls for better international collaboration and capacity building

"These are difficult times"

The World Science Forum culminated with the endorsement of a declaration calling for improved international collaboration in science and the breaking down of knowledge divides.

The declaration says that changes in science over the last decade signify “a new milestone in the history of science” and “a new era of global science”.

It makes five key recommendations including improved dialogue with society; promotion of international collaboration in science; and more collaborative policies to overcome the knowledge divide.

It calls for a universal ethical code of conduct on the freedoms and responsibilities of researchers that wants to see adopted by national legislations. It also calls for the strengthening of capacity building, including expanding participation of women in science and science policymaking and institutionalising the scientific advisory process within national parliaments and governments.

Yuan Tseh Lee, president of the International Council for Science (ICSU) said the declaration “touched upon many important things, but the most important thing is we all seem to be willing and committed to establish sustainable, equitable and just human civilisation” in what is a “very difficult time”.

Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith, chair of the UK’s Royal Society Advisory Group, who gave a lecture on international collaboration at the forum, told SciDev.Net the declaration was “good”. “It has all the right things; the need to cooperate better and work across boundaries and by working together we can better solve problems”.

But some scientists said that the recommendations of  were not strong enough.

Mićo Tatalović, deputy news editor, SciDev.Net

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