A Forum on the social and economic relevance, influence and responsibilities of science

A Forum to find authentic responses to global challenges


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Daya Reddy, 2019

President, International Science Council (ISC)

The right to scientific freedom is accompanied by responsibilities: for example, to ensure that scientific knowledge is made accessible to broader society, and to advocate on the underpinnings of consensus views that inform policymakers and society.

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, 2009

Claremont Graduate University

„It is time to understand who we are, because we may not be here long if we don't.”

Thierry Courvoisier, 2019

President, European Academies' Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

Policies that are informed and reasoned are essential for the future of the continent and the planet. Developing these policies requires independent and solid knowledge to be made available by the science community to society. This is the essence of my involvement with academies and the WSF.

Alan I. Leshner, 2007

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„For individual people to prosper anywhere in our world, they need to have access to the fruits of science, they need to have a fundamental understanding of the nature of science, and a comfort with scientific progress.”

Sergey Alexandrovich Volkov, 2011

astronaut, International Space Station

„In the 21st century, [which is] marked by numerous challenges, science remains the only power capable of turning our world into a coherent place ruled by principles of solidarity and democracy.”

Dr France A Córdova, 2019

Ditector, National Science Foundation (NSF)

A commitment to the responsible and ethical conduct of research is more than a philosophical goal.  It is the roadmap to more inclusive science.  A framework to support it ensures the inclusion and support of the community’s best talent and provides a pathway for their production of rigorous research that is trustworthy and ethical.

Elisa Reis

Vice-President, International Science Council

Considering that common values, principles, and protocols are basic ingredients that make for a community of ideals and interests, the communitarian nature of science is in itself a precious resource to overcome barriers and mobilize resources to work for a better world.

Jacob Palis, 2007

President, Brazilian Academy of Sciences

„New players from Brazil, China, India and elsewhere in the south have entered the scientific arena as equals and advance in research, both in the north and the south, have helped improve the life and health of hundreds of millions of people.”

Chunli Bai, 2011

President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

„Over the years, the Forum's special dedication and commitment to link science with social development have helped it to grow into stronger global strategic impact. This forum is a platform that attracts scientists, administrators and policy makers to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas.”

Michelle Yap, 2015

Senior Assistant Director, Singapore Government, Ministry of Home Affairs, S&T Assessment Taskforce, Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer

„Science is an enabler for all societies to better the lives of its people and frontline operations.”

Koichiro Matsuura, 2007

Director-General, UNESCO

„By bringing together policy makers, scientists, representatives of international organisations, academic institutions, and media, World Science Forum has become a unique platform for exchange and reflection on science and its role in meeting the urgent challenges that humanity is facing.”

Wilson Compton, 2015

Deputy Director, National Institute on Drog Abuse

Drug addiction science is essential for influencing and guiding legal, social and medical responses to the shifting landscape of drug abuse and drug addiction globally. Because WSF is such a terrific venue for examining the broad impact of science on society,WSF is an ideal opportunity to introduce these addiction concepts and to consider ways to maximize the use of science to improve health and social functioning.

József Pálinkás, 2011

President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Science has been and continues to be the main contributor towards development, but we need to be honest: science played an important role in the construction of the world that we are now trying to change. Now it needs to revert this process”

Sumaya Bint El Hassan, 2013

Princess of Jordan, President of the Royal Scientific Society, Jordan

„Science must play vital role in ending inequality which is stifling our progress as a human family.”

Ban Ki-Moon, 2011

Secretary-General, United Nations

„I studied by candlelight or kerosene lamp. We had no indoor plumbing. We did all of our farming by hand. Science helped to change that.”

Tracey Elliott, 2013

Head of the International Science Policy Centre of the Royal Society

„Congratulations on delivering a stimulating WSF 2013 this week. (…) I look forward to continuing our discussions on WSF 2015.”

Arden L. Bement, 2007

Director, National Science Foundation (NSF), USA

„We share commitment to promote world class research and education in our respective nations around the globe. And I suspect we have several philosophies about how to accomplish our task. Nevertheless, collectively we face a changing research landscape that is at once exciting, as well as uncertain.”

Clive Cookson

Science Editor, Financial Times

„The WSF is a wonderful venue to discuss the societal and economic impact of science on a truly global basis. The stellar speakers in our plenary will look at the all-important path from research to innovations that make a difference in the real world - with eyes focused particularly on environmental and business sustainability.”

Werner Arber, 2009

Nobel Laureate

„Once you have knowledge you can think to apply it for our benefit.”

Lee Fook Kay, 2015

Chief Science and Technology Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore

„Science enriches the modern lives and has developed many practical solutions for our work. The true value of science is when it is translated into practical solutions in the real world. In today’s modern world, while we are here to discuss and share on the advancement of science, there are still many pockets of societies and organisations whom we can work with to better their (work) lives. Through the WSF, we can seek to achieve this.”

Alan I. Leshner, 2011

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„“Given that every issue of modern life has a science and technology component to it, either as a cause or as a cure, it’s incredibly important that the general public has a fundamental comfort and a fundamental understanding of what is and isn’t science and what areas of science might be important for their lives.”

Roland Schenkel, 2007

Director General, Joint Research Center, EU

„Above all, what we see clearly is a change in mentality, in Europe there is again the will for excellence, the strive for excellence, for competition… We know what is required in order to make champions, it is autonomy, flexibility, but also accountability.”

Günter Ziegler, 2015

Professor, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

„We are caught in a Science Communication Dilemma: Sciences such as Mathematics are playing a central role in modern Science, Technology, and Society — but this is largely hidden. However, Science is too complicated to explain — so how should the layman be able to deal with this? The WSF is a great forum to discuss this!”

József Pálinkás, 2009

President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„We have to reaffirm the importance of making substantial effort to educate and inform the general public by communicating science to them.”

László Lovász, 2015

President, World Science Forum, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Science enables us to confront hunger and disease, to tackle our ever-growing demand for energy and provides an improved quality of life for more and more people. We should be proud of these achievements.”

Savita Singh, 2007

Director, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, India

„Information leads to knowledge, knowledge must lead to wisdom.”

József Pálinkás, 2013

President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Under the changing conditions of nature, science is faced by even greater challenges than before. Research should find quick, effective solutions and feasible answers to the problems raised by everyday life”

Peter W. Higgs, 2013

Nobel Prize Laureate for physics

„Both scientific development and the lay society have to pay special attention to the sustainability of development that brings about the future is truer than ever before”

Alan I. Leshner, 2007

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„For nations, to prosper, they need to have indigenous scientific capacity that is sufficient to allow them to participate fully not only in the generation of science but in ripping the benefits of it.”

Alan I. Leshner, 2009

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„It’s our obligation, the people in this room, who represent the leadership of the world scientific community as we’re here for the World Science Forum, to take up what needs to be done as we move into the future decade.”

Mari Kivinemi, 2007

Prime minster of Finland 2010-

„Prioritizing investment in R&D should be a permanent process requiring wide political acceptance.”

Dennis Meadows, 2009

Director, Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire

„This is not a party. This is supposed to be an effort to think how we might be able to save out species.”

Peter-Paul Verbeek, 2019

Professor, University of Twente

We need to learn to connect values to science and technology. Citizen science and responsible design are important means to take responsibility for enormous social implications of scientific knowledge and technological innovation.

Walter Erdelen, 2007

Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

„Today’s society is increasingly a knowledge society where access to information and knowledge is the major determinant of economic growth, sustainable development and social and political participation.”

Alan I. Leshner, 2009

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„The purpose of science is to tell us about the nature, the natural world, whether you like the answer or not.”

Anne Glover, 2013

Chief scientific advisor to the president of the European Commission

„We need a better partnership with politicians and economists to challenge them to be a bit more imaginative about what a sustainable future may look like, because all I know is, it is not the same as where we are now.”

László Lovász, 2015

President, World Science Forum, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Today, WSF is recognised as an open platform to stimulate conversations about science and society, the role of science and about our shared responsibilities.”

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, 2009

Claremont Graduate University

„Now it is science that is promising to make the world better, and make the life of the people better.”

László Lovász, 2015

President, World Science Forum, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Every country, no matter how small or large, can, and should, take responsibility for global issues, for the environment, and for the progress of science.”

Gudmund Hernes, 2009

President, ISSC

„We have to commit now, and we have to commit here.”

Gordon McBean, 2015

President of the International Council of Science

„The bringing together the global scientific community to address issues and led to a sustainable future earth is a key role of the International Council for Science. The World Science Forum is an excellent opportunity to assist in building global science by connecting scientists in dialogue.”

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, 2009

Claremont Graduate University

„Science has the responsibility to become the ethical beader in helping human evolution in future, because nobody else is really that qualified or able to do that.”

József Pálinkás, 2009

President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„We have the responsibility to incorporate much more expertise and knowledge in our local and global decision making.”

John Needle, 2007

Director, London International Youth Science Forum

„The mission of this third World Science Forum here in Hungary is for science to make a significant contribution to the sustainable livelihood and development of humankind.”

Gordon McBean, 2013

President of the International Council of Science

„(…) the universalization of scientific knowledge will only occur when access, use and production are made by all and for all. This edition of the WSF contributes for that to happen, not only because of its theme, but also due to how the theme was actually created.”

Dennis Meadows, 2009

Director, Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire

„With social, cultural, economic changes, combined with technology, you can produce more attractive futures.”

Helena Bonciani Nader, 2019

Vice-President, Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Biomedical Scientist)

This year’s WSF will again be important to global society since it will address important emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology such as Synthetic Biology and AI.

Alan I. Leshner, 2009

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

„The good news is that every survey that’s ever done says that people like science. That always makes me feel good.”

Irina Bokova, 2011

Director-general of UNESCO

„Science should serve societies of the 21th century. A general aim is to ensure the freedom of opinion, the rights to education, access to participation in research. Science is a key factor in development also today.”

Gordon McBean, 2011

President of the International Council of Science

„The universalization of scientific knowledge will only occur when access, use and production are made by all and for all. This edition of the WSF contributes for that to happen.”

Julia Marton-Lefévre, 2007

Director-General, World Conservation Union (IUCN)

„This has been a remarkably stimulating meeting and I feel a deep sense of appreciation and admiration for the amazing science that is done by all of you.”

Rana Dajani, 2015

Associate Professor, Hashemite University Visiting Professor, Yale Stem Cell Center and University of Cambridge

„Our objective is to develop a generation who can not only solve some of the most fascinating mysteries such as our origins and ends, but also address daunting challenges that we face as a community and as humanity.”

Romain Murenzi, 2013

Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences

„As I have come to know other countries, peoples, cultures and customs, I gradually realized that science can be a link among us, and in fact it can strengthen confidence even among countries that are in political disagreement.”

Mathis Wackernagel, 2009

Executive Director, Global Footprint Network

„We know more about the future than we want to know. Why don’t we take an advantage of this knowledge?”

Irina Bokova, 2013

Director-general of UNESCO

„Humanity shares a single destiny – we must act with single determination to craft the future we want for all”

Walter Erdelen, 2009

Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

„The 1999 Budapest World Conference on Science was a landmark in policy terms: setting a global policy framework to advance science worldwide.”

Catherine Bréchignac, 2009

President, International Council for Science (ICSU)

„There’s no science without technology. Science is more the knowledge and technology is the know-how.”

John Burn, 2015

Professor, Newcastle University, Human Variome Project

„Genomics combined with global access to information via personal devices promises a transformation of healthcare. The World Science Forum contributes to knowledge dissemination, helps ensure public endorsement and explores solutions to challenges which might deny us access to the fruits of this scientific revolution.”

Julia Higgins, 2015

Former Vice President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society

„As The UK Academy of Science, the Royal Society is deeply concerned about the education of both future scientists and engineers and about scientifically literate citizens. World Science Forum is an excellent platform to share our ambition to initiate a change.”

Wayne Drevets

Vice President, Disease Area Leader in Mood Disorders, Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research & Development

„WSF provides a timely platform to advance knowledge about the exciting development of imaging technologies helping us assess brain structure and function noninvasively. New techniques for measuring gene expression in brain tissue are enabling us to map those neural circuits in which function is altered in mood disorders. This really interests me and my team as the knowledge gained is having immediate impacts on the discovery and elucidation of new treatments for major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. In Budapest this November, we aim to share this excitement.”

Sylvie Lemmet, 2007

Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

„Economic growth in our modern times can simply no longer be achieved with actual consumption and production patterns, and in order to take on this enormous challenge, we need to mobilise all knowledge of the world.”

Irina Bokova, 2013

Director-general of UNESCO

„We need more connected science – science that is linked to policy-making, that responds to the needs and aspirations of societies”

Hanaki Keisuke, 2015

Vice President for International Affairs, Science Council of Japan

„Integrated approach is becoming more and more essential in academia. WSF gives us opportunities for making our eyes open to the other academic area and the society.”

Arden L. Bement, 2007

Director, National Science Foundation (NSF), USA

„International cooperation is the new standard model for innovation. The issue is not whether international partnerships are necessary and vital but how we can make partnerships work faster, smarter and better.”

Julia Marton-Lefévre, 2007

Director-General, World Conservation Union (IUCN)

„An immense gratitude for the outstanding hospitality of Hungary in the organisation of these important dialogues which have brought together so many key players from so many different sectors.”

Jos van der Meer, 2015

Chairman, European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

„Scientists are in the position to show the world that collaboration is the way forward.”

Peter W. Higgs, 2013

Nobel Prize Laureate for physics

„It was fascinating to see the diversity of topics that the Forum dwelt on, and what excellent minds were participating at conferencing.”

Dino Trescher, 2013

Euroscientist Magazine

„One of the key goals of the WSF is to ensure that evidence-based knowledge feeds into policies applied on a global, regional and local level to foster transitions to more sustainable societies”

János Áder, 2011

President of Hungary

„In order for people to change their attitudes, scientists need to present a model of global sustainable development, which will progress within political and economic discussions, as the best model in all possible ways.”

Kati Marton, 2007

Chair, International Women's Health Coalition - Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

„I want to take you on a journey. … A journey that follows the lives of nine extraordinary sons of Budapest who really did change the world.”

József Pálinkás, 2013

President, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„Science has an enormous local and global reserve of values and capacities providing societies with the possibilities of long-term sustainability, a balanced life, and a vision of a future we can rely on.”

Geoffrey Boulton, 2015

Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of EdinburghFellow of the Royal Society (FRS)

„The new world of “big data presents difficult challenges and great opportunities for science. Rising to the challenge and grasping the opportunity makes great demands on the whole system of national and international science, with profound implications for what it means to be a scientist in a data-rich world.”

Anne Glover, 2013

Chief scientific advisor to the president of the European Commission

„Science is the most creative thing you can do with your life. (…) Science is absolutely central to our culture.”

Sergey Alexandrovich Volkov, 2011

astronaut, International Space Station

„Present-day science should always bear in view that the only way to defeat crises is through joint scientific activities and international cooperation.”

László Lovász, 2015

President, World Science Forum, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

„World Science Forum would not be possible without the true commitment of our partner organisations who share a common vision of building this biennial series into a meeting point of global impact.”