Monday, November 30, 2009
Leshner: U.S., Europe Share “an Obligation to Help Build Scientific Capacity in the Developing World”
--- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., The Mythical Man-Month
Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them.
--- George Orwell
Intelligence is like a four-wheel drive. It allows you to get stuck in more remote places.
--- Garrison Keillor
Do one thing every day that scares you.
--- Eleanor Roosevelt
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.
We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
--- Albert Einstein
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
--- Samuel Johnson
Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
--- Samuel Johnson
The article draws on Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making by Gary Klein. I haven't read the book, but the reviews look good! I quote from a review of the book:
Klein offers more realistic ideas about how to make decisions in real-life settings. He provides many examples—ranging from airline pilots and weather forecasters to sports announcers and Captain Jack Aubrey in Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander novels—to make his point. All these decision makers saw things that others didn't. They used their expertise to pick up cues and to discern patterns and trends. We can make better decisions, Klein tells us, if we are prepared for complexity and ambiguity and if we will stop expecting the data to tell us everything.In researching this posting, I came across this great site from the Air War College on thinking and decision making, full of links to practical guides.
My friend Julianne alerted me to this nine page brief by Olivier Serrat, published by the Asian Development Bank, which describes a history of failed attempts to explain development by single factor causal models, recognizing that social and economic development is indeed a complex process.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
It some sense that seems profoundly unintuitive. The former slaves were still there, still in place with the skills and knowledge that they had always possessed. There was no loss of human capital as we now conceive of it. Of course those who owned slaves in the past could and did consider the market value of their slaves as capital, and indeed they could borrow using slaves as collateral and could sell slaves to monetize that capital.
(Hernando de Soto has powerfully made the point that poverty in poor countries has been maintained in part because poor people could not legally register their property and borrow against its value or monetize that property, and there have been projects which have contributed to local development by legalizing property rights of the poor over their homes, land and capital goods. Maybe we should look for processes by which people can obtain legal rights to their human capital, borrowing against it and monetizing it via contractual arrangements?)
Friday, November 27, 2009
America leads the world in attracting foreign students to its campuses, Britain and Australia are not far behind. Almost 672,000 foreigners were enrolled in American universities in the autumn of 2008, compared with 183,000 in Australian universities and 342,000 in British ones in 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available).
Comment: The numbers for the United States look good until you realize that the limits placed on foreign students by the Bush administration greatly reduced the rate of growth of their population in the United States for eight years. If you compare the size of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States you will see that we are not as successful as the other Anglo nations in attracting students, even though the U.S. higher education seems to be considered as the global standard for excellence. JAD
"Worldwide R&D investment increased by 6.9% in 2008, having grown by 9% in 2007."
- Brazil in 2006 was estimated to spend $17.4 billion, more than Toyota and Microsoft combined, but less than the top three firms in the graph.
- Colombia spent $532 thousand, less than one-tenth of that spent by Roche or General Motors.
- Uganda spent $119 million in 2007,
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.Terror is defined as intense, overpowering fear. I suggest that terrorism must imply intent. A driver who loses control of his vehicle threatening other drivers might inspire terror in those drivers and their passengers, but without intent to cause terror would not be seen as a terrorist. So too, someone who was considered too mentally ill to properly evaluate the probable impact of his/her actions would not be seen as a terrorist even if those actions result in terror.
- One presumes that a single person was responsible for the anthrax scare in the United States, and that is a limited threat
- Al Qaeda is seen as a terrorist conspiracy responsible for 9/11 and was a greater threat than an isolated individual
- Currently there seems to be a loosely associated network of individuals and groups, often inspired by Al Qaeda, which undertake independent terrorist acts
- Nazi Germany illustrates the possibility of terrorism by a nation state in its repression of opposition parties domestically and in occupied territories.
Interest rates on credit cards seem very high, and apparently are increasing during this period of economic hardship. Other unregulated sources of short term credit, such as bank overdraft charges and streetfront check cashing services which provide advances on paychecks have even higher rates. It occurs to me to think a little in public about interest rates.
- Transaction costs, including the costs of obtaining the funds to loan out and the costs of making loans and collecting repayments
- The cost of the money to be loaned, including the interest that the financial institution has to pay on money it borrows and the return it must provide to the investors providing its capital
- The time value of money, since the amount repaid should be sufficient to buy the same market basket of goods and services as that loaned (and thus adjusted for inflation) and a premium to the lender for deferring consumption for the duration of the loan
- The cost of loans that are not repaid
In December 1999, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women would be celebrated on November 25th each year. The date was chosen to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. It originally marked the day that the three Mirabal sisters from the Dominican Republic were violently assassinated in 1960 during the Trujillo dictatorship (Rafael Trujillo 1930-1961). The day was used to pay tribute to the Mirabal sisters, as well as global recognition of gender violence.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The rise in numbers of researchers equates to a 45% increase, from 344 to 499 researchers per million inhabitants in developing countries. During the same period, the number of researchers in developed countries increased by only 8.6% to 4.4 million. In relative terms, this amounts to 3,592 researchers per million inhabitants, still far more than in developing countries.
The information was collected through the third UIS survey on statistics of science and technology (S&T), which is conducted every two years. It focuses on human resources devoted to research and development (R&D), as well as expenditure on R&D. Results of the survey reveal global and regional trends in the allocation of R&D resources.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Neylon C, Wu S (2009) Article-Level Metrics and the Evolution of Scientific Impact. PLoS Biol 7(11): e1000242. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000242It is useful, but it seems to confound indices of impact with indices that would be useful for the selective dissemination of information.
An index of impact by definition seeks to measure the impact an article or journal has already had. Of course one might seek to construct an index of projected impact, and indeed that might be interesting. One might combine the reputation of the authors and the journal with data on readership, and link it to the "heat of the subject area" using counts such as the rate of change of publication of articles on the topic.
Monday, November 16, 2009
"The OECD publishes figures for its rich-country members. These show that since 1990, average TFP growth has been remarkably similar in America, Japan, Germany, Britain and France, at around 1% a year. A recent report by Andrew Cates, an economist at UBS, attempts to estimate TFP growth in emerging economies over the past two decades (see chart). He calculates that China has had by far the fastest annual rate of TFP growth, at around 4%. Probably no other country in history has enjoyed such rapid efficiency gains. India and other Asian emerging economies have also enjoyed faster productivity growth than other developing or developed regions. In contrast, productivity in Brazil and Russia has risen more slowly than in rich economies."
Sunday, November 15, 2009
lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress.Comment: Apparently Pascrell thinks it is OK to present the work of his staff as his own, without attribution to the true author, but is not happy with the discovery that he was in fact mouthing the words of lobbyists. I wonder whether he is more unhappy with his un-attributed words not his own or with the discovery and publication of the fact?
Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists.
In an interview, Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said: “I regret that the language was the same. I did not know it was.” He said he got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from.”
One also wonders about the quality of understanding of the issues of the health care bill among the Congressmen who will be voting on this important issue and of their devotion to the welfare of their constituents and the nation rather than the welfrare of their campaign coffers. JAD
Saturday, November 14, 2009
According to the emerging cognitive model of religion, we are so keenly attuned to the designs and desires of other people that we are hypersensitive to signs of "agents": thinking minds like our own. In what anthropologist Pascal Boyer of Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri has described as a "hypertrophy of social cognition," we tend to attribute random events or natural phenomena to the agency of another being.I suggest that people seek patterns in what they perceive -- the appearance of order. This is not a novel observation, and indeed the survival value of recognizing patters is so obvious and large that I suggest it is common not only to man but to other species. How can an organism find food or avoid being eaten if it can not recognize patterns indicating where food is to be found and where predators are likely to lurk.
When it comes to natural phenomena, "we may be intuitive theists," says cognitive psychologist Deborah Kelemen of Boston University (BU). She has shown in a series of papers that young children prefer "teleological," or purpose-driven, explanations rather than mechanical ones for natural phenomena.
For example, in several studies British and American children in first, second, and fourth grades were asked whether rocks are pointy because they are composed of small bits of material or in order to keep animals from sitting on them. The children preferred the teleological explanation. "They give an animistic quality to the rock; it's protecting itself," Kelemen explains. Further studies have confirmed this tendency. Even Kelemen's own son—who "gets mechanistic explanations of everything"—is not immune: At age 3, after hearing how flowers grow from seeds, his question was, "Who makes the seeds?"
The point of studying children is that they may better reflect innate rather than cultural biases, says Kelemen. But recent work suggests that it's not just children: Kelemen and Krista Casler of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, found the same tendency to ascribe purpose to phenomena like rocks, sand, and lakes in uneducated Romany adults. They also tested BU undergraduates who had taken an average of three college science classes. When the undergrads had to respond under time pressure, they were likely to agree with nonscientific statements such as "The sun radiates heat because warmth nurtures life."
"It's hard work to overcome these teleological explanations," says Kelemen, who adds that the data also suggest an uphill battle for scientific literacy. "When you speed people up, their hard work goes by the wayside." She's now investigating how professional scientists perform on her tests. Such purpose-driven beliefs are a step on the way to religion, she says. "Things exist for purposes, things are intentionally caused, things are intentionally caused for a purpose by some agent. ... You begin to see that a god is a likely thing for a human mind to construct."
The thrust of a couple of centuries of science has been to explore the explanation of natural and social phenomena as the result of natural processes and not planning. I suggest that modern science has shown how order may emerge without planning as the result of properties of statistics, of natural or market selection, or of feedback. As a result of centuries of scientific analysis it now is possible to understand order as unplanned.
Similarly, science has suggested in quantum mechanics, genetics and other areas that there are things in nature that are best understood as unordered and unplanned.
Perhaps even more important has been the willingness of science to treat all explanations as tentative, recognizing that (at least at the current state of knowledge) there are things we can not explain and that current explanations may be flawed or erroneous.
Implications for Decision Making
If we are genetically and culturally predisposed to search for patterns, then it seems likely that we are often going to see patterns where they do not in fact exist.
When something goes wrong in an organization, some people first suspect malevolence, but I tend to suspect bureaucracy gone awry or incompetence.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The question was asked as to whether UNESCO could carry out its charter duties with such a small amount of money. The response during the meeting was that the current program was attempting to do too much with too little, and that it should be more focused on a few priority areas.
That might be true, but the governance of UNESCO is vested in the General Conference with 193 member states, a body that meets only once every two years, and in the Executive Board with 58 members, a body which meets only three times per year. These legislative bodies apparently are as subject to pork barrel politics as is the U.S. Congress. A budget is passed by including funding for all activities desired by any of the members of the governing bodies. Each of the elements of each of the science programs has its supporters.
Assume that the governing bodies did want to cut some activities and emphasize others. Which of the natural science programs would one cut?
- The Freshwater Program is seen as the strongest of UNESCO's science programs, meeting an increasing need for understanding of freshwater systems. The World Water Assessment is fundamental for building understanding of the global water crisis and for establishing an agreed upon base of information for policy makers. The training programs in UNESCO's water centers are helping to prepare the cadre of water scientists and managers that the world needs, especially the arid portions of the developing world.
- The People, Biodiversity and Ecology Program with its global network of bioreserves is not only helping develop global understanding of the crisis of anthropogenic loss of biological diversity, but is helping to create an information base for landscape management that can help to ameliorate the human impacts on the environment and especially species loss.
- The Oceanography Program provides a legitimate intergovernmental umbrella for international scientific cooperation on ocean science at a time when ocean resources are being threatened and when the Law of the Seas Convention is opening new economic possibilities for ocean resource exploitation. Moreover, the program includes a hugely important and successful effort to establish a global tsunami warnint system.
- The Earth Science Program provides support for governments, especially needed by those in developing nations, to understand their own underground resources. If governments are the protectors of public interest against unfair exploitation of water, petroleum and mineral resources, then UNESCO's earth science program is a trustworthy vehicle for support of governments.
- The Basic Science Program deals with the sciences that underlie applied sciences in fields from engineering to medicine and public health to agriculture. It is globally accepted that the basic sciences must be supported by governments, but developing nation governments need help in providing that support, and look to UNESCO for that help. Moreover, some of the great successes of UNESCO, such as the Third World Academy of Sciences and CERN, have resulted from UNESCO's efforts to catalyze international cooperation in the basic sciences. The creation of the SESAME center in Jordan is a recent example, in which countries with little else in common have agreed to cooperate in the operation of this scientific facility.
- The Science Policy and Sustainable Development Program seeks to help meet the need of developing nations to allocate their scarce resources to those scientific activities that meet their most basic needs, and to develop policies that support the successful management of their scientific efforts. Ideally science policy is worked out through discussion and negotiation among government, the scientific community and industry; it is UNESCO that is best placed to help developing country governments to meet their responsibilities in the negotiation of science policies.
If UNESCO doesn't get enough money to adequately carry out all of the needed scientific functions an obvious alternative is to provide more money for the regular budget of the science program.
Donors appear unwilling to do so. In part this appears to be because the major donors seem not to trust UNESCO governance and bureaucracy to efficiently utilize those financial resources to effectively carry out the scientific mission of the Organization. Thus the voluntary contributions to the natural science program are more than three times the regular budget of that program, and many of those resources are under the control of bodies such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the International Hydrological Program Intergovernmental Council and only indirectly under the Control of UNESCO's overall governing bodies.
Over the past 18 years, under the leadership of two Directors General of UNESCO, efforts have been made to reform the Organization and to make it more efficient and more effective. There is general agreement that great progress has been made, but also that more needs to be done if the Organization is to obtain the full confidence of its major donors. Irina Bokova, the new Director General taking office next week, and her senior staff will have to address that problem and I wish them the greatest success.
The 800 Pound Gorilla Hidden Off Stage
One could take the "S" out of UNESCO and create an new intergovernmental system for science. During World War II UNESCO was conceived as an organization focusing on schools and cultural facilities such as museums; science was added almost as an afterthought, largely as a result of lobbying by a few key science policy makers. At the time there were few intergovernmental organizations. Perhaps more importantly, the global scientific system was far smaller than it is today, and its importance was much less recognized so there would have been little recognition of the importance of intergovernmental organizations to promote science. The green revolution in agriculture, the revolution in medicine and public health, and the information revolution have all been science based and have convinced most if not all governments of the importance of science in the modern world.
Perhaps it is now time to rebuild an intergovernmental scientific edifice outside UNESCO, one that could be governed more by scientists and less by diplomats, that could be more efficiently and effectively managed, and as such more worthy of funding consonant with the importance of science in the modern world.
The opinions expressed in this posting are those of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent those of Americans for UNESCO nor of BISO nor the National Academies.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
President Obama on Tuesday named Rajiv Shah, a 36-year-old doctor and agriculture expert, to head the U.S. Agency for International Development, filling what lawmakers and aid experts had called a glaring vacancy on a key foreign-policy front.
- Mary Beth Sheridan in The Washington Post
- Nomination by Secretary Clinton
- Announcement by the White House
- Associated Press coverage
- Rajiv Shah's biography from the USDA website
- The coverage from the Modernizing Foreign Aid Network
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Americans are not as isolated as has been previously reported. We find that the extent of social isolation has hardly changed since 1985, contrary to concerns that the prevalence of severe isolation has tripled since then. Only 6% of the adult population has no one with whom they can discuss important matters or who they consider to be “especially significant” in their life.
We confirm that Americans’ discussion networks have shrunk by about a third since 1985 and have become less diverse because they contain fewer non‐family members. However, contrary to the considerable concern that people’s use of the internet and cell phones could be tied to the trend towards smaller networks, we find that ownership of a mobile phone and participation in a variety of internet activities are associated with larger and more diverse core discussion networks. (Discussion networks are a key measure of people’s most important social ties.)
Sunday, November 08, 2009
An ambitious new project to digitally map soils all over the world could transform agriculture. An article in the journal Science, describes how the GlobalSoilMap.net (GSM) initiative could help tackle pressing problems such as food insecurity, climate change and environmental degradation worldwide.Comment: Some 40 years ago, when I was working in a pattern recognition lab, we started trying to get people to recognize that computer processing of satellite remote sensing data would have important applications in agriculture.
The initiative follows the launch of African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) earlier this year, which will use the latest satellite technology to produce high quality maps of Africa’s soils in order to fine-tune farming practices. GSM will use the AfSIS methodology to produce similar maps for the whole world.
We were of course right, but we were also naive as to the time and effort it would take to achieve those benefits. The state of the art has apparently advanced to the point that the technology can be applied even in the poor countries of Africa.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Check out the website for the series.
Comment: The trick is to find math that corresponds (as closely as possible) to reality, and the trap is to assume that reality must correspond to what you perceive as mathematical beauty. JAD
The envoys would be well advised to read this article in SEED by Sheila Jasanoff as they prepare for their duties. They are all experienced science diplomats, but the reminder is important.
would do away with an understanding we have in the U.S. about the Internet: that, generally speaking, the networks and platforms that make up the online world (whether that's TimeWarner Cable or YouTube) have some protections against being held liable for what people post onto their services, like swapping songs they don't have the rights to......
The agreement that seems to be on the table in Seoul would give Internet services a safe harbor that protects them against what's called intermediary liability. That's arguably a positive step -- only to get there, the Internet services would be required to enact a mandatory zero-tolerance policy against copyright infringement. They have to agree to filter copyrighted material and strip infringing content from their networks. And more than that, Internet service providers would have to set up their services in a way that allows them to cut off copyright-infringing customers, a step they've fought against. (That tactic even goes by the name "three strikes and you're out.") That's a drastic, speech-limiting step that even Congress has shied away from.
If the negotiation achieves an international agreement it would not have the force of law in the United States without Congressional ratification (assuming that the administration would not sign an agreement with which it did not accept as the best that could be achieved). However, the alternatives of passing something that is not very good versus leaving the United States outside a global agreement are not those I would choose.
How, I wonder, can we open up the international negotiation process more fully to the participation of civil society? The problem is not simple. It is increasingly important and always difficult to get international agreements negotiated. Opening the process might make it more difficult to get needed treaties in force without resulting in better content. Not to mention the problem that most governments would appear to prefer to negotiate in secret rather than in public view.
Stephen Johnson begins his book, The Invention of Air, with a description of Joseph Priestly's voyage to the United States in 1794 which included the simultaneous sighting of four waterspouts. Later he uses the waterspout as a metaphor for the conservative riot in Birmingham that destroyed Unitarian meeting houses and the home of the Priestly family.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Migration, both within and beyond borders, has become an increasingly prominent theme in domestic and international debates, and is the topic of the 2009 Human Development Report (HDR09).
The report investigates migration in the context of demographic changes and trends in both growth and inequality. It also presents more detailed and nuanced individual, family and village experiences, and explores less visible movements typically pursued by disadvantaged groups such as short term and seasonal migration.
There is a range of evidence about the positive impacts of migration on human development, through such avenues as increased household incomes and improved access to education and health services. There is further evidence that migration can empower traditionally disadvantaged groups, in particular women. At the same time, risks to human development are also present where migration is a reaction to threats and denial of choice, and where regular opportunities for movement are constrained.
Have you ever heard of Joseph Priestly (1733-1804)? A world famous scientist/philosopher/educator/religious leader who moved to the United States in 1791 and lived here for the rest of his life?
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I also use Mozilla Firefox, which is also quite good. I used it as my primary browser for some years but an update several months ago resulted in huge toolbars and print. Before I learned about the correction for the problem (which affected my old Microsoft Windows but not my Microsoft Vista operating systems) I started using Chrome.
I figure both are less subject to virus invasion than Internet Explorer, and I got sick of the IE updates screwing up my computers.
I just thought someone might be interested.
Monday, November 02, 2009
There is a good article by Ezra Klein in the Washington Post showing how U.S. prices per unit health care are much higher than other developed nations. Data from the International Federation of Health Plans seems to indicate that the private health care industry in the United States charges much more per service than do their counterparts in other nations.
Here is the package of graphs and data on which his article was based.
While the current legislative process may result in insurance for most of those uncovered now, I doubt that the Congress will have the guts (gumption?) to limit health care costs/
The current system of course is the reason our costs are high. In other countries governments bargain to keep costs down. Here the health care providers have incentives to increase charges as do the insurers, and the patient has little bargaining power when he/she needs a health service. Employers who are facing increasing difficulty competing due to high health care costs also have little chance to bargain for lower cost services.
The problem of dubious nutrition and health claims for foodstuffs is now being addressed on both sides of the Atlantic. America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on October 20th that it would overhaul the regulation of such claims on food labels and issue new standards early next year. In the European Union, meanwhile, a legislative process that began in 2006 is grinding towards its conclusion.It goes on to note:
It is not every day that an international consortium of concerned lipid scientists gets upset, but just such a group, rallied by Jack Winkler of the Nutrition Policy Unit at London Metropolitan University, is on the warpath. The group says the regulation of omega-3s that has been adopted so far has no foundation in science, will legalise the deception of consumers and will make public health worse. The problem, in the group’s view, is that companies are now allowed to claim that a product is rich in omega-3s irrespective of whether these are long-chain or short-chain molecules.Clearly people in the United States (and in many other rich countries) are eating too much, and eating the wrong things. Our evolved responses to food don't protect us from our own affluence, not to mention the blandishments of the food and fast food industries. Government regulation is a help, but we have to learn to control our consumption with reason and knowledge. Unfortunately, scientific knowledge about nutrition is difficult to create, and worse hard for most of us to understand!
THE best ways to get enough “good” (ie, long-chain) omega-3 oils are either to eat lots of oily fish or to take, every day, supplements that contain at least 500mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or both (though some studies have suggested as much as 1,100mg a day is better). Products that contain short-chain omega-3s, such as alpha-linolenic acid from plant oils like flax-seed oil, have not been linked with the strong health benefits shown by fish oils.
Having got enough long-chain oils, though, it is important to let them do their work. That means reducing consumption of omega-6 oils—those found in maize, sunflower, olive and most other seed oils. Many people have turned to these seed oils as a way of reducing their intake of saturated fats, but omega-6 fatty acids compete in the body with omega-3s, since the two have similar chemical properties. The best dietary ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is reckoned to be less than 4:1. In Western diets, it is typically more like 10:1. The message, then, is: eat less fat and get more of it from fish. And those who buy omega-3 supplements that also contain omega-6s are probably wasting their money.
- “Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do About it”, by Josh Lerner, and
- “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle”, by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.
In developing countries:
SOMETIME in the next few years (if it hasn’t happened already) the world will reach a milestone: half of humanity will be having only enough children to replace itself. That is, the fertility rate of half the world will be 2.1 or below. This is the “replacement level of fertility”, the magic number that causes a country’s population to slow down and eventually to stabilise. According to the United Nations population division, 2.9 billion people out of a total of 6.5 billion were living in countries at or below this point in 2000-05. The number will rise to 3.4 billion out of 7 billion in the early 2010s and to over 50% in the middle of the next decade. The countries include not only Russia and Japan but Brazil, Indonesia, China and even south India.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards productive intercommunication for knowledge, emphasises two central and mutually dependent premises. The first is the connection between knowledge, development and freedom. The second is the close relationship between the demands of development and the building of the knowledge society.The Report addresses the factors that impede the establishment of a knowledge society in the Arab world and assesses the state of education, information and communication technologies, research and innovation in the region.
Knowledge is a tool and a goal that influences all levels of society equally and involves all fields. It is a primary avenue for renaissance and human development in the region.
Adel Abdellatif, Chief of the Regional Programme Division at UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States