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"Science is a key mover of progress"

At the official launching session of WSF Budapest- 2011 the first to speak was host to the event President of HAS and WSF Mr József Pálinkás. "Under the changing conditions of nature, science is faced by even greater challenges than before", Mr Pálinkás said. "Research should find quick, effective solutions and feasible answers to the problems raised by everyday life", he continued. The opening session then heard Prime Minister of Hungary Mr Viktor Orbán.

HAS President József Pálinkás'
opening address can be read here.

Apart from their innovative and flexible ways of thinking, firm ethical values are also key factors necessary for reaching this goal, Mr Pálinkás said. What science can offer to development in economy and society, what support governments, political decision makers can give to research are going to be central topics of the Forum's lectures . Global events like this forum in Budapest represent a unique occasion for dialogue also with civil society. Meetings offer a good opportunity for scientists to gain knowledge of each other's results and also of the expectations of the various cultural, social groups in the given community. It is easier to find those scientific answers that bring solutions to social needs, expectations through consultations.

Viktor Orbán' speech
can be read here.

     The current global crisis brings changes in the structure of world markets and also has consequences on scientific life. New research centres can emerge at formerly little-known universities, said the Hungarian Prime Minister Mr Viktor Orbán. In the process of change and restructuring only that form of scientific attitude brings results which is based on constantly forming new questions and searching for innovative new answers. Representatives of both science and politics are to look for new ways of reaching their appointed goals. You have to invest in the future with innovation in mind. The future is going to form itself on the basis of the current school system, as Hungarian Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Györgyi had said. Mr Orbán added that players in the economy should be urged to support research and political decision makers should distribute financial support among researchers to boost their creative energies also by eliminating administrative obstacles that hinder the flexible functioning of universities and research centres. Let the spirit of scientific curiosity come out of the bottle to work and give hope to the global development of civilisation, the prime minister said to the participants of the scientific forum in conclusion.

     In his video message, UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon called attention to the importance of protecting the environment as this is the only way to ensure living conditions for many in different parts of the world. Participants of such global events should do their best to show the strength and importance of science. New generations of researchers, engineers, investors, entrepreneurs should come together and co-operate with political decision makers, Mr Ban Ki Moon said in conclusion.

 Click here to download Mr Ban Ki Moon's video message

     The challenges of today are clear in each country, and so are possible answers. But actors of scientific life should co-operate with each other in order to be able to implement the right solutions, they have to continue dialogues also with representatives of the governments, said Director General of UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova. Reports on scientific results show that research is being done in close co-operation nowadays. The role of science diplomacy has grown helping the flow of knowledge and information. There is a lot to be done in this respect in Africa. UNESCO wants to bring change in underdeveloped regions beginning in 2012. The role of women is very marginal in science especially in research in the third world countries. Science should serve societies of the 21th century – with the help of policymakers, educators. 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, concluded UNESCO's Director General.

     Everyone contributing to science should transform his or her attitude towards research all over the world, emphasized President of ICSU Mr Yuan Tseh Lee. We have to redefine the priorities of development, to stabilize temperature by stopping global warming while minimalising the so-called carbon footprint of mankind. Representatives of science and politics should step up in co-operation without delay in this urgent matter.

 

      Following up on those thoughts, Director General of AAAS Mr Alan I. Leshner said that we face unprecedented challenges. All aspects of modern life are somehow connected to science and its development is putting great pressure on scientists. Mankind needs new energy resources, new methods to avoid human and environmental disasters. A valid question is, Mr Leshner said, how we can do a better job on a higher level, also keeping the ethical norms binding us. We have to strengthen co-operation among scientific communities and reinforce also their relation to society. While science itself changes, it also changes the surrounding world.

Message from the space
 Click here to download Astronaut Sergei Volkov' video message.

     We have to do a better job in co-ordinating scientific co-operation on the national, international, and global levels, emphasised Brazil's Prime Minister Mr Aloizio Mercadante. His words were then undergirded from a huge distance. Astronaut Sergei Volkov set an example to the representatives of global scientific and political communities by referring to the close collaboration he and his partners have to accomplish even under pressure by taking into consideration each others' interest for the sake of a global aim, the achievements of science.