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Under the leadership of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, the founding organisations of the World Science Forum, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and all invited organisations and fellow scientists, we, the participants of the 8th World Science Forum, held from 7-10 November 2017 at the Dead Sea, Jordan, adopt the present declaration.

The World Science Forum (WSF), an outcome of the 1999 World Conference on Science, is a biennial event that since 2003 has been successfully assembling scientists and decision-makers from the world of politics and industry, representatives of civil society and the media to discuss critical global issues and the potential of science to address them holistically.

In line with the outcomes of the 1999 World Conference on Science (WCS), and taking into account the 2011 Budapest Declaration on the New Era of Global Science, the 2013 Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Science for Global Sustainable Development, and the 2015 Budapest Declaration on The Enabling Power of Science we reaffirm our commitment to the responsible and ethical use of scientific knowledge in addressing the great challenges facing humankind.

Science for Peace

Our world is empowered by science as never before. Scientific and technological advances are at a point where challenges to our health, environment and wellbeing may be defined and addressed in increasingly effective ways. Yet, despite these great strides forward, so many communities on our planet remain powerless and deprived of some of the very basic requirements for life, liberty and hope. So many more of our fellow human beings are at the mercy of fear, insecurity and instability in their lives and livelihoods. Additionally, the grave threats posed by climate and ocean change, pollution, and the inefficient management of natural resources and waste, continue to threaten our environmental, social and political stability at local, regional and global levels.

It is in this context that World Science Forum 2017 has assessed the role of science in building a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development. ‘Peace’ is far more than the absence of conflict. It implies an absence of fear and the full realisation of a whole and healthy life. It encompasses an equal access to the resources and potential of our planet. ‘Science for Peace’ signifies a call for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and for the promise of hope and opportunity in the lives of all people in a world where borders must matter little as we struggle to build a better, and inevitably shared future.

‘Science for Peace’ recognizes the global nature of the challenges facing all humankind, and underlines our global responsibility to tackle them through robust science and evidence-informed policy. This must encompass energy, food, water and climate change, the alleviation of poverty and inequality, greater cultural and economic understanding between peoples, and the potential for science and research to create wealth and to provide opportunity within societies.

We are convinced that science and the ethical application of evidence-informed methods offer essential tools to address challenges that leaders and politicians are confronted by at national and regional levels, and we are committed to finding in science the language that connects people across borders, belief systems, and social and cultural barriers. We believe that we must fight for a voice in a world where culture is so often reduced to untruths relating to cultural identity. ‘Science for Peace’ is a banner for all humanity and a call to reject division, short-term and reactionary planning, and the growing gap between rich and poor.

Inquiry-based science education is essential for forming critical thinking to build and sustain peaceful, knowledge-based societies. Lasting peace may only be achieved in our world when scientific knowledge is more equitably produced and shared, when science and evidence-based thinking are supported and empowered in all societies, when diversity is cherished as a vital factor in science and research, and when the universal right to science is promoted and enshrined in regional and global fora. It is in this context that we call for the following:

1.      The equitable and sustainable management of natural resources is essential to avoid conflicts and to promote peaceful development

The global demand for food, water and energy has reached unprecedented and unsustainable levels as a result of a growing global population, increased consumption, inefficient resource management and the effects of climate change. Competition for basic resources is a key driver of inequality, uncertainty, instability and conflict. Future global security and prosperity for all will depend on how we respond to pressures on natural resources, and how these resources are managed, distributed and made accessible to all communities. Sustainable and equitable access is imperative to prevent and mitigate crisis, and to promote resilience and recovery.

World Science Forum 2017 explored the critical interdependency of water, energy and food as the most acute challenge to peace and security. In Jordan and the Middle East in particular, water scarcity poses a grave threat to stability. Scientists and science diplomats have central roles to play not only in developing technologies and management systems, but also in enhancing cooperation, institutions and knowledge exchange; improving water conservation and energy efficiency; building local capacity; and ensuring resilience through shared management of transboundary resources. Science offers channels of communication between states to overcome political tension and build trust.

We affirm the need to collaborate to improve governance, to inform technological choices and investments, and to build social and human infrastructures for equitable and sustainable management of resources.

The 2030 Agenda sets a blueprint for tackling these challenges across the Sustainable Development Goals but their interdependencies are not yet fully understood and require increasingly interdisciplinary approaches.

We endorse the three landmark UN agreements adopted in 2015 — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We call for science to be given a central role in enabling the analysis and synthesis of evidence to inform their implementation, delivery, and compliance through research monitoring and evaluation.

2.      The preservation of scientific capacities, threatened by global migration trends, is key to peace, sustainable development, resilience and recovery

Peace and prosperity depend not only on economic or natural resources, but also on a society’s capacity to anticipate, identify and understand challenges, and to act effectively to generate and deploy scientific knowledge. The capacity to educate, attract and retain professionals in science, technology and innovation (STI) is essential for societies to follow sustainable development paths and is the main pillar of any attempt for successful recovery and reconstruction, following conflict, economic crises, and natural and anthropogenic disasters.

Individual causes for migration among scientists may range from career or economic benefits, discrimination of underrepresented groups, the limitation of academic freedom, and political instability, to famine and armed-conflicts. Regardless of the causes, continuous and long-lasting out-migration of skilled STI personnel undermines present and future capacities for innovation in all countries and leads to an acceleration in development gaps. Such global and regional migration patterns must be acknowledged as a shared challenge and leveraged to create future development opportunities.

Science must make an increasingly important contribution to the discourse surrounding migration: the science community must offer insights into the causes, benefits and challenges connected with migration, give voice to underrepresented stakeholders, and support the development of policies based on empirical evidence to respond to the causes and consequences of migration.

The debilitating effects of brain drain on equitable global progress in recent decades have been exacerbated by rapidly increasing dislocation and forced migration. In the Middle East and North Africa alone, war and civil conflicts have forced millions of people to leave their homes and with migration as their only option. Integration of migrant scientists is marked by inequalities in terms of countries of origin, gender or religion, and the underutilization of skills due to bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of recognition of qualifications.

In order to prevent an irreversible loss of human capital in science, it is imperative to introduce measures to help those displaced to continue their careers, and when the time comes to enable them to contribute effectively to rebuilding and reconstruction.

We call on science organizations, universities and governments to devise mechanisms to identify professionals among the millions displaced by war, economic hardship and climate change, and set recommendations that protect their status and their ability to create knowledge.

We underline the need for education and jobs programs to support mobility and integration of migrant and refugee researchers and students.

We call for the inclusion of migrant and refugee researchers in the negotiation process of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration due to be signed by UN Member States in 2018.

3.      Diversity is a key enabler of excellence in science, technology and innovation and is essential to optimise its relevance and impact

Diversity is a key enabler of scientific excellence and improves the social, environmental and economic impacts of science, thus contributing to prosperity and peace. For the scientific community to innovate effectively, it must reflect different methodologies, linguistics, life experiences and cultural values.

Diversity and inclusion should address all forms of discrimination. Conscious and unconscious biases and imbalances are even more apparent in leadership roles.

Uniformity breeds a recurring and self-affirming scientific monologue that impairs genuine innovation. The homogeneity of scientific communities discourages diversity from the earliest stages of science education.

We call for the recognition and promotion of diversity in science as an essential precursor to fully realising the potential of human capacities globally, to cherishing excellence, and to optimising the impact of scientific research for the benefit of humankind

We advocate for innovative measures and the assessment of gender-disaggregated data, as well as support for the design and implementation of science, technology and innovation (STI) policy instruments that positively affect gender equality in STEM.

4.      We commit to the fulfilment of the universal right to science

We reinforce and commit to promote the right for all to participate in the advancement of science and the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications as established in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966).

In the five decades since the adoption of these core documents for peace and equitable progress, the world of science has seen fundamental and systemic changes and challenges: The emergence of new actors, new methods, transdisciplinary approaches requiring co-design and co-production of knowledge, increased responsibilities for the global scientific community, and the globalisation of commerce and industry. These changes have challenged partnerships among the stakeholders of science. This transformed global landscape calls for the empowerment of the right to science, and for a normative structure to support and expand its applications. This must be complemented by an interdisciplinary approach to the assessment of new scientific discoveries and technologies that embraces social scientists in mapping systemic impacts on societies.

We, the partner organisations of the World Science Forum, and all participants of World Science Forum 2017, commit to defend academic freedom.

We embrace the Principle of the Universality of Science adopted by ICSU member organisations, the renewed Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers adopted by UNESCO, the Statement on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility adopted by AAAS, and IAP’s Doing Global Science: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise.

We call for the stakeholders of science to join together in promoting and communicating the universal right to science as an essential precursor to building a fair and durable peace.

5.      We support the launch of a regional science forum for the Arab World

We recognise the importance of regional initiatives to strengthen cohesion within diverse scientific communities and to build partnerships among them. In this respect we support the organisation and promotion of regional science fora as powerful tools to initiate positive change focusing on regional challenges to science systems.

In this spirit we support the launch of an Arab Science Forum to draw together science and research communities, to focus scientific capacity to address regional challenges, and to connect regional science voices to the wider discourse of established regional fora.

We as partner organisations and participants of World Science Forum 2017 commit our support to the establishment of the Arab Science Forum.

World Science Forum 2017 concludes

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Dead Sea, Nov. 10 (Petra) — The World Science Forum 2017, which was attended by more than 3,000 science leaders from more than 120 countries, concluded at the Dead Sea shores on Friday evening.

During the closing ceremony, HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Scientific Society, highlighted the importance of the forum in exchanging research and studies among scientists in the region and worldwide.

He called for employing science for peace and social security and in addressing various global issues, underscoring the importance of developing knowledge while preserving values and priorities.

He pointed out the need to bridge the gap between education and society and achieve social justice. The Prince also stressed the importance of supporting youths and promote their capacity, noting Jordan’s ability to shoulder the burden of refugees from a large number of countries in the region. He said that Jordan was able to overcome problems and crises in the region.

HRH Princess Sumaya Bint Al Hassan, President of the forum, said the event called for the need for sustainable management of natural resources to avoid conflicts and promote peaceful development. The forum released a statement calling for the need to maintain scientific capacity as the key to peace and sustainable development.

Princess Sumaya also announced the launch of a regional forum for science in the Arab region, stressing the importance of such regional initiatives aimed at enhancing cohesion within the scientific communities and building partnerships among them.

10/11/2017 – 09:41:34 PM

Princess Sumaya says hosting World Science Forum confirms Jordan’s position as place for dialogue

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AMMAN — HRH Princess Sumaya, the president of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS), on Tuesday welcomed leading international scientists and policymakers to the RSS as she convened the second meeting of the steering committee of the World Science Forum 2017 (WSF). 

The princess, who chairs the WSF 2017, said it was a great privilege for Jordan to plan and host in November the “world’s most prestigious science forum” for the first time in the Middle East.

The eighth WSF will be held at the Dead Sea under the heading of “Science for Peace”, according to an RSS statement. 

The meeting, which is known as the “Davos of Science”, will examine how science, technology and innovation can help create a better future for the world. 

“For the first time, WSF will have an Arab and Middle Eastern focus as the world’s leading scientists and policymakers make Jordan the focus of attention for debate and discussion,” the statement said.

Princess Sumaya voiced hope that the WSF 2017 would act as a launch pad for cooperation in science, technology and innovation across the Arab world. 

The princess said she was delighted that the WSF, and the global attention it attracts, would confirm Jordan’s position as a place for dialogue and the exchange of ideas.




Building Humanity’s Common Future

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HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal

Published at 11:47 PM October 28, 2017


The Islamic world must invest in science, technology, and innovation

Politics rather than policy is clouding the biosphere of most countries in the Islamic world. Science policy in the Arab region is not stable due to instability of the region.

The question is how the 2030 agenda for sustainable development (UN-SDGS), can pave the way for global peace and prosperity with such political instability. Does stability come with policies in science, technology, and innovation (STI) to create the “niche” of political stability that the Islamic world has hardly enjoyed?

There are areas where some countries in the Islamic world has succeeded in providing political stability with sound policies, and has created a stable democratic governance with change and continuity, and emerged strongly in STI and economy.

Malaysia is a country which has succeeded in generating wealth per capita to overcome unemployment and poverty and to compete with OECD countries and has developed a unique democratic system with full participation of all segments of the society based on tolerance, equity, and justice.

They have created a sustainable political system leaving no one behind with sound policies in economics, science, technology, and innovation (STI), generating high-tech exports dependent heavily on the R&D and technology transfer. This is a model which could be studied carefully for prosperous and future progress of the Islamic Umma.

The Islamic world cannot live on the glories of the past, although we have to underline the success stories in our history to give us the impetus to trigger with vigour the development of our present and future quality of life and put human dignity, at the centre of development.

The Islamic world faces problems in knowledge-use more than in knowledge creation. Without translating academic research into policy and public awareness, research will be read by few people who constitute the elites who are disconnected from the masses of the society.

The Islamic world cannot live on the glories of the past, although we have to underline the success stories in our history to give us the impetus to trigger with vigour the development of our present

There is a gap between scientists and policy/decision makers. Universities are the centres of creating knowledge and its transmission, and where minds are shaped. The creation of knowledge occurs through research, free-thinking, exploration, and the exchange and debate of ideas.

The transmission of knowledge is done by teaching and training of the next generation, which not only receives the distilled, confirmed facts and theories in various branches of knowledge, but also learns to dissect them, check for any flaws, and construct more robust frameworks of knowledge for the world.

In addition to the knowledge production and scholarship and the shaping of critical and creative minds, one of the main goals and raisons d’être of universities worldwide is to develop within society a culture of inquiry, intellectual rigour, and promotion of evidence and merit.

This spirit is what led to the Islamic Golden Age of science. Indeed, the Muslim world is widely credited for having established the first universities in the world, going back as far as 859 AD.

And indeed, those universities created knowledge by translating books from scholars of previous civilisations, by hosting scholars and giving them the means and the freedom to explore all the ideas that they wished to analyse, and by training students and disciples in intellectual work, from the purely philosophical, theological, or theoretical, to the most directly applicable techniques.

However, after a Golden Age of knowledge and science that lasted many centuries, the Islamic world went through a long period of decline, which was followed by Western colonisation, and by the 20th century, it was trailing all other nations in knowledge production and dissemination.

Today, and after huge efforts (financial and otherwise), only a few universities from the Arab world can be found in the Top 400 of the major world university rankings, and none in the Top 100.

New knowledge, particularly knowledge related to technology, drives the economic systems. Economic agents, including firms and governments, are forced to adapt to technical change in order to survive in a competitive environment.

While governments should act as facilitator, technology capabilities must accumulate in enterprises.

This will only be possible if we strengthen our universities and R&D organisations and create effective linkages between them and industry. It will be the increasing use of knowledge in the production processes and service industry which will determine the growth of our GDP.

Our ability to compete or survive in the globalisation of economic systems depends on our commitment towards the development of our human capital and ensuring a continuous learning process within the government institutions and enterprises to create a culture of innovation.

Innovation is concerned with enhancing national productivity and national competitive performance.

Dynamic innovation systems involve interplay between a number of different parts of the society which include the government, private sector, universities, and research institutions.

The transition of our economy from an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based economy involves a mosaic of complex interactions in which a large number of players would be involved.

The universities will need to play a central part in this transition through knowledge creation, its use and diffusion of new knowledge into the society through establishment of technology parks, business incubators, access to venture capital, and other such schemes.

The new world order requires us to prepare our children to face the challenges of the global economy.

This involves a substantially different type of education to be imparted, focused not only on the mastery of subject matters but also on the development of the various other skills such as the ability to think critically, innovate, communicate effectively, work effectively in teams, develop entrepreneurship and risk-taking skills, and the ability to face and manage changes in a flexible manner.

This would require a massive focused national effort.

I have no doubts that the cross-fertilisation of ideas coming out from this conference will enhance our ability to pursue the development of the quality of life for the Umma.

HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal is former crown prince of Jordan. This article is an abridged version of an address delivered at the 21st Science Conference of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences held in Konya, Turkey, October 7, 2017. 



21st Islamic World Academy of Sciences Conference

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Science, Technology and Innovation for Global Peace and Prosperity

 Konya, Turkey

8-11 October 2017

The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) convened its 21st international science conference in Konya, Turkey, during 8-11 October 2017. The theme of the conference was ‘Science, Technology and Innovation for Global Peace and Prosperity.’

Held at the Dedeman Hotel in Konya, the IAS Conference was an open activity in which over 120 local and international participants representing over 30 countries participated. Among the participants were Fellows of the IAS, local scientists from the various universities, young university students, expatriate Turkish scientists as well as representatives of Asian, African and Western academies of sciences. Prior to the conference, the 21st meeting of the General Assembly of the IAS as well as the 40th meeting of the IAS Council were convened.

The 21st IAS Conference was organised and sponsored by:

  • Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), Amman, Jordan;
  • Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), Ankara, Turkey; and
  • Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey.

It was co-sponsored by:

  • Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (AFSED), Kuwait, Kuwait;
  • Economic Cooperation Organization Science Foundation (ECOSF), Islamabad, Pakistan;
  • Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia;
  • OIC Standing Ministerial Committee on Scientific and Technological Co-operation (COMSTECH), Islamabad, Pakistan; and
  • Arab Potash Company, Amman, Jordan.

The conference addressed a number of key issues in the domain of science, technology and innovation (STI) for peace and prosperity.

اختتام أعمال المؤتمر العلمي الـ21 لأكاديمية العالم الإسلامي للعلوم

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عمان 15 تشرين الأول (بترا)-

اختتمت أكاديمية العالم الإسلامي للعلوم، وهي منظمة دولية متخصصة بشؤون العلوم والتكنولوجيا تتخذ من عمان مقرا لها، أعمال مؤتمرها العلمي الحادي والعشرين والذي عقد في مدينة قونية بتركيا تحت عنوان “العلوم والتكنولوجيا والابتكار من أجل السلام والرفاه العالميين”.


ووفق بيان صحفي أصدرته الأكاديمية اليوم الأحد، فقد اشتمل المؤتمر على أكثر من 50 ورقة بحثية قدمها خبراء من أكثر من 40 دولة مختلفة حول مواضيع: الدور المستقبلي للجامعات، وسياسات الابتكار في الدول الاسلامية، والتنمية المستدامة، والثقافة العلمية في المجتمعات الإسلامية.

وشارك في هذه التظاهرة، أكثر من 120 باحثا أكاديميا منهم رئيسا الوزراء الأسبقان عبد السلام المجالي، الذي يشغل منصب رئيس مجلس إدارة اكاديمية العالم الاسلامي للعلوم، وعدنان بدران، والدكتور شاهر المومني من الجامعة الاردنية وهو زميل (عضو) الأكاديمية، بالإضافة الى الدكتور منيف رافع الزعبي، مدير عام الاكاديمية.

وفي ختام المؤتمر أصدرت الاكاديمية اعلان قونية حول (العلوم والتكنولوجيا والابتكار من اجل السلام والرفاه العالميين)، ويتضمن مجموعة توصيات تحث الدول الإسلامية والنامية على تحديث سياساتها في مجال العلوم والتكنولوجيا والابتكار والسعي الى انفاق نسبة 1 بالمئة من الناتج المحلي الاجمالي للدولة على البحث العلمي.

كما اشتمل الاعلان على توصيتين تنفيذيتين تتعلق الاولى بإعداد نموذج لتقييم حالة الابتكار في الدول النامية والاسلامية والاخرى نموذجا للرصد البيئي في هذه الدول.

يذكر انه تم اعادة انتخاب المجالي رئيسا للأكاديمية خلال اجتماع هيئتها العامة بالأجماع وبدران كعضو للمجلس وأمينا للمال، وذلك في اجتماع الهيئة العامة للأكاديمية الذي استعرض فيه الدكتور منيف الزعبي مديرها العام انجازات وبرامج الاكاديمية.

–(بترا) م خ/س أ/ار

15/10/2017 – 04:35 م

The First Summit on Science and Technology of the OIC, Astana, Kazakhstan, 10-11 September 2017.

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM The first ever Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on science and technologies with the participation of the heads of several states started in Astana’s Independence Palace today, Kazinform correspondent reports. The two-day international event will determine priorities, goals, and objectives in the field of science, technology and innovation development in the OIC member countries. The idea of convening the summit was proposed by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during the OIC Summit in Istanbul in 2016. The topic of the summit is “Science, Technology, Innovation and Modernization in the Islamic World”. Being a meeting during which the heads of state and government for the first time in history will exclusively be discussing scientific and technical issues, the summit is expected to facilitate the creation of a basis for a new scientific and technological agenda. It will also confirm the organization’s commitment to science and technology, setting priorities, goals, and recommendations for Muslim countries for the coming decade. It is also expected that the meeting will discuss the situation with Muslims in Myanmar. The main documents of the summit will be the Final Communiqué and the Astana Declaration. Representatives of 56 OIC countries and other international and regional organizations are taking part in the summit, as well as representatives non-member states such President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro who arrived in Astana this morning. According to him, he plans to use the platform to offer his formula for stabilizing oil prices. The OIC Award Ceremony in Science and Technology will also be held during the Summit in Kazakh capital. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was established in 1969. The Permanent Secretariat is the executive organ of the Organisation, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies, and is located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Currently, the organization has of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.6 billion as of 2008. Five countries and five international organizations have observer status within the Organizations. Kazakhstan has been a member of the OIC since 1995. The Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to OIC has been operating in Jeddah since March 2010. The country presided at the 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC that was held on July 28-30, 2011.