International Science Debates
Nations the world over are recognizing that science and technology are an increasingly important force in national political and policy discussions.
In science we see mounting pressure from legacy science challenges such as climate change, ocean health, energy, biodiversity loss and habitat fragmentation, education, economic competitiveness, nuclear material, and population.
These are coupled with emerging issues in biotechnology, nanotechnology, genomics, physics, neuroscience, materials science, ecosystem services, space commercialization and computer science.
On the tech side, the expanding global communications infrastructure is leading to the rise of leaderless and semi-leaderless groups that have ousted authoritarian governments and expanded liberty but that have also been used for terrorism and to retract liberty. Technology is linking scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs the world over without regard to national or economic structures, and accelerating the 3-D process of discovery, development and deployment.
What effect will these things have over the next few decades, and how can policymakers facilitate an orderly process to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to economies, health, and the environment? These questions are too important and too impactful on people's lives to be left unaddressed.
Since the Science Debate effort began in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008, similar efforts have been mounted or attempted in a growing number of nations.