Of course, no single approach to issues as complex as these will apply in all cases or for all members of our community but there is great value in understanding what the options are and the risks and opportunities associated with each. This helps ensure that individuals and organizations that choose to engage the policy process will be cognizant of the potential implications of their choices for the broader scientific community. As a result, careful consideration of the role of science in policy is a critical first step for anyone interested in contributing to the policy process.
From the days of Vedas and Upanishads to edicts of kings and emperors like Chandragupta, Asoka to the medieval Indian mass gatherings to the modern day’s audio video and print media, media has always taken a pivotal role in shaping our society.
The importance of education in our society is ..
Science today seems caught in a cross-fire between two opposing world views. On the one hand, science is a major tool of the ideology currently driving the world economy, namely that of the free market system, continual growth and the pursuit of personal wealth. On the other hand, science is increasingly being called on to produce knowledge and technology that promote environmentally sustainable, people-oriented development and long-term management of resources. The world economy continues to rely heavily on cheap oil, a non-renewable resource and major contributor of greenhouse gases. Fossil fuels - oil, coal, natural gas - will continue to power world industry for several decades. The fact that they will do so despite the availability of technically feasible alternative "green" energy technologies, brings the dilemma into sharp relief. Examples of the conflict between current economic forces and the need for sustainable development can be found in many other domains as well. The imposition of structural adjustment policies by international financial institutions, for example, has forced some countries to reorient agricultural research and production to focus on cash crops that generate foreign currency rather than food crops for local consumption. In some cases, such policies have put food security and the continued production of the land in jeopardy, created enormous personal hardship for citizens, and led to social unrest. Free trade arrangements, too, may pose a threat to some of the underlying components of sustainable development, affecting biodiversity, community self-reliance, and local knowledge systems. In some cases, the elimination of trade barriers between countries has led farmers to abandon the cultivation of traditional crop varieties that were well adapted to local conditions and tastes, in favour of imported varieties that may respond better to newly expanded markets. Deregulation and privatization are two trends aimed at improving commercial competitiveness, and stimulating economic growth. Yet in some sectors such as energy production and food it is becoming clear that these trends cannot be reconciled with the requirement imposed by sustainable development that hidden environmental and social costs of economic production that is, costs bourne by present or future society but not normally reflected in prices of goods and services like energy, be taken into account. In the past, developments in the energy field have had more to do with the protection of vested economic interests than with concern for the public good or environmental conservation. The prospect of that approach being perpetuated is a major concern for the future of energy science, since fossil fuels are a finite resource and a major contributor of greenhouse gases, and research or energy alternatives is handicapped. Policy makers must accept that, for certain key areas like energy development, decisions must not be based only on political expediency such as the prospect of short-term economic benefits and job creation. To do so denigrates the role of forward-thinking research and development (R&D) and undermines long-term social development. Rather, what is needed is a vision of the world that looks "seven generations" ahead, in the manner of the holistic philosophies of North American aboriginal people.