From preventing environmental damage to halting the spread of disease, many 21st-century problems can be tackled with scientific and technological know-how and capacity. But not all nations possess this, and slow progress on the Millennium Development Goals has badly hampered their development.
In this article, Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, calls for a new global partnership between the developed and developing worlds that focuses on science and technology. Several initiatives are showing the way, yet more is needed.
Recently, top scientists of the international InterAcademy Council recommended that all countries develop a science and technology strategy that reflects local priorities, and that they commit 1 to 1.5 per cent of their gross national product to this work. The IAC's efforts, says Annan, reveal a dynamism in the science community that he hopes will spread.
Reference: Science 303, 925 (2004)