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Knowledge and Future: World Science Forum in Budapest

Ten years after the first World Conference on Science (Budapest, 1999), the fourth World Science Forum will take place in Budapest (Hungary) from 5 to 7 November. The meeting, whose theme this year is “Knowledge and Future”, coincides with World Science Day for Peace and Development, celebrated annually on 10 November

Organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in partnership with UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU), the Forum will provide the opportunity to focus on developments in science and science policies in the last ten years and to examine priorities, strategies and future action. For the first time, one session will be devoted to scientific communication, with the participation of Bruce Alberts and Philip Campbell, editors-in-chief of the scientific journals Science and Nature respectively.

The Forum will be opened by Laszlo Solyom, President of the Republic of Hungary; Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO; Jozsef Palinkas, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Catherine Brechignac, President of the International Council for Science and a representative of Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

It will also be the occasion for the Director-General of UNESCO to present three scientific prizes. The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science will be awarded jointly to Professor Yash Pal (India), for his contribution to the field of cosmic rays, astrophysics, education sciences and space technology and to Professor Trinh Xuan Thuan (Vietnam), an astrophysicist recognized for his research in the field of extragalactic astronomy.

The Great Man-Made River International Water Prize for "Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas" will be awarded to Dr. Bellachheb Chahbani for his research at the Arid Regions Institute in Medenine (Tunisia), while the Sultan Oaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation will be awarded to the National Parks Organization of the Spanish Ministry for the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs (OAPN).

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in partnership with UNESCO and the International Council for Science, launched the World Science Forum to encourage dialogue about the new roles of science and the challenges which it faces. In 2003, the Forum focused on “Knowledge and Society”, in 2005 on “Knowledge, Ethics and Responsibility” and in 2007 on “Investing in Knowledge: Investing in the Future”.

Information from www.unesco.org

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