Friday, April 20, 2007

Science ministers stressed importance of basic sciences and science education

The General Conference of UNESCO, held every other year, is to meet in October. It may be a useful time to review the report of the round table on “The Basic Sciences: The Science Lever for Development”, held during the 33rd session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which gathered some 50 ministers responsible for science policy from around the world.

The ministers "agreed, for example, to stress the need for education 'that inspires students at all levels – pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary – as well as in the informal and non-formal environments'. Innovative means must be developed in order to stimulate the creativity of young people and to allow them to appreciate the value of science, they said."

Participants also "emphasised the need in Member States for capacity building in the basic sciences 'as the platform for knowledge-based development'."

The ministers called for "increased South-South as well as North-South cooperation", and "called on UNESCO to increase its efforts to promote the basic sciences and science education, to strengthen the UNESCO Chairs and the centers of excellence and to support the implementation of science and technical policies in developing countries."

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