József Pálinkás: Opening address at the 5th Budapest World Science Forum

Prime Minister Orbán!

Director General Bokova!

Your Excellencies: Ministers, Ambassadors!

Distinguished Guests! Dear Colleagues! Ladies and Gentlemen!

On behalf of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences may I heartily welcome all the participants of the 5th Budapest World Science Forum at our Academy. Thank you for accepting our invitation to contribute to this unique event.

My special words of thanks go to our partners: UNESCO, ICSU, AAAS, EASAC and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and, last but not least, to the Hungarian Government for their work and assistance to make this Forum happen. May I acknowledge the support of our sponsors, too.

This time around we have given this title to the Forum: The Changing Landscape of Science. This title will guide us through our discussions.

We are living in a rapidly changing world with a pressing need for proper responses to meet the many new challenges in our everyday lives. We need new solutions, and science serves exactly this purpose. Scientifically well established expertise is undoubtedly the main tool in finding the proper responses. At the same time we scientists have to be honest and humble. To meet today's challenges we need even more, solid ethics, vision, faith, braveness, and a change in our attitudes.

During these two and a half days we will talk mainly about science, but please do not forget the above, and their relation to science. We are going to discuss science definitely not from the point of view that we scientists need more money for our research. We would like to discuss what science can offer, and listen carefully to society, industry and policy makers on what science should offer to meet its challenges.

I strongly believe that science and the applications of research results should be the foundation for sensible solutions and a feasible future. 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.

Focusing not only on certain specific areas of science, this Forum provides a unique opportunity to discuss with society and policy-makers in the broadest sense the role of science, and the ethical, environmental, economic, social and cultural consequences of scientific discoveries, the geographical and thematic changes, the social validity, the driving forces, and the future of science.

It is also a science-diplomatic event concerned with global and national policies in order to link social demands to policy making. It's a reference point for the shapers of science, society and politics.

Besides exploring the geographical, thematic and social aspects of the changes occurring in science, and trying to identify emerging fields, we shall also emphasise the significance, the social validity, the influence, and the responsibilities of science, and the need for giving evidence based scientific policy advice. By issuing a closing statement as a forum, we would also like to formalise our common intentions.

Thus, WSF is a global dialogue on a guiding, responsible, and renewing science, which makes Budapest the capital of the world of science for a few days. Contributing to an authentic and positive image of Hungary, the Forum is unique evidence of the success of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungarian science, and the entire nation.

While acknowledging the significance of Budapest, it's the only world forum that is to be organized in different countries every second occasion from 2011 onwards while returning again to Budapest every fourth year, thus trying to respond creatively to the changing multi-polarity of the world of science.