“What a wonderful time it is to be discussing this topic, as we celebrate the designation by the current UNESCO General Conference of 2022 as International Year of Basic Sciences for Development. Jordan was proud to champion this initiative with several partner nations, and many individuals who made this dream a reality are in this room today. Congratulations to all of you. But now the real work begins!
That real work will help us to win hearts and minds, and hopefully to loosen purse strings. For there is little doubt that we in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries so often face challenges at home when expressing and promoting the concept of ‘basic’ as opposed to ‘applied’ science. There is all-too-often often a feeling that basic science has no place in national planning because it absorbs precious resources and supports research that does not tackle immediate, pressing problems. Indeed, many see wide support of basic science as a luxury that only wealthy, developed nations may enjoy.
This is a challenge and such opinions threaten the stable development of many of the neediest nations on our planet. The fact is that any nation that does not support some sort of basic science infrastructure, and the individuals and communities that emerge from it, will remain indefinitely as a consumer of new knowledge, rather than becoming a producer of knowledge and innovation. Such a situation can only serve to exacerbate knowledge gaps and to increase the costs of gaining, and therefore applying knowledge for development, or even for survival.”
There is no need to comment further on these three first paragaraphs of the talk HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan gave during the World Science Forum. It explains everything about the importance of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.
You can download the full text of this talk.
You can also listen to it.