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The way in which scientific endeavours are pursued around the world is marked by clear inequalities. Developing countries spend much less on scientific research, and have many fewer scientists, than rich nations.

In this editorial Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, warns that this unbalanced distribution of scientific activity generates serious problems not only for the scientific community in developing countries, but for development itself.

Annan urges commitment from scientists and scientific institutions throughout the world to bring the benefits of science to all. And he reminds us that if science is to reach its full potential, we must do more to end and prevent conflict.

Link to full Science editorial

Reference: Science 299, 1485 (2003)