Previous Fora / 2011


József PálinkásIt is my honour and pleasure to announce the fifth World Science Forum to be held in Budapest from 17 to 19 November 2011. The Forum, which - I hope - will put Hungary in the vanguard of international science again, will be organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in partnership with UNESCO, ICSU, and AAAS.

Encouraged by the success of the 1999 World Conference on Science and in the spirit of the Declaration issued by WCS, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in partnership with UNESCO and ICSU, initiated a series of events called World Science Forum taking place biannually in Budapest. In 2001 UNESCO assigned the day of the 10th of November to serve as "World Science Day", a day dedicated to science and scientists. Since then World Science Fora have taken place in Budapest on and around the World Science Days of every second year focusing on "Knowledge and Society" (2003), "Knowledge, Ethics and Responsibility" (2005), "Investing in Knowledge: Investing in the Future" (2007), and "Knowledge and Future" (2009).

Now, following the convention of the renewed Steering Committee of World Science Forum, I am proudly announcing that the main theme of the 2011 Forum will be "The Changing Landscape of Science". With the contribution of world leading scientists we are going to present geographical, thematic, and social aspects of this subject focusing on the burning issues of science and global society. Among other relevant topics our invited speakers will outline their views on the future of human population, new challenges caused by, and solutions to remedy global diseases, novel ways of food production and food security, new material technologies, and the recent advancements in brain research and cognitive sciences. True to our traditions we will present these themes from the perspectives of both developed and developing countries with the clear intention of giving a balanced view of major global disputes and to demonstrate our determination to narrow the knowledge divide. The Forum will stress the role of young scientists with an eye on their growing responsibility for finding solutions to the existing and arising challenges facing humankind. Last but not least, we will promote the interaction between stakeholders of knowledge including scientists and science policy makers, and the general public: people who can enjoy the benefits of scientific advancements, whose quality of life can be improved by finding knowledge-based solutions to global challenges and by a spirited interaction with the global scientific community as another guarantee for the future.

There has been another development in the life of World Science Forum, one that will surely contribute to the success of this event. In order to distribute the achievements of this enterprise and to make it a true world event, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences with the consent of UNESCO, ICSU, and AAAS has proposed to change the format of WSF so that it is organised on every second occasion in a partner country. What with the welcome offer of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences it has been decided that the 2013 World Science Forum will be organized in Rio de Janeiro. Beyond their valuable contribution, among others, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have expressed their will to contribute to this ambitious enterprise. I am inviting all stakeholders of knowledge, including my fellow scientists and science policy decision makers, leaders of industrial and technological development, academics and science communicators, to participate in this intellectual endeavour. I am confident that the Forum will be rewarding both academically and socially for all, and will contribute to a better understanding and appreciation of the role of science in the global society of the 21st century.

József Pálinkás
President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
President of World Science Forum