NATO Workshop: Science Policy: New Mechanisms forScientific Collaboration between East and West (Novosibirsk, Russia, 22-25 November 1993)
On the eve of the 21stcentury our civilisation is colliding with the next global problem, demanding aglobal solution. It is becoming more and more clear that the future of the worldwill be impossible without scientific support, analysis, prediction, and the useof scientific achievements. The immensity of these problems, and the limitedfinancial resources which society may spend on their research and solution,urgently demand the selection of priority areas of research and scientists’combined efforts on a global scale.
The new geopolitical situationhas uncovered Russia’s and the former Soviet Union’s scientific potential to therest of the world community. This situation has given rise to wideropportunities for involvement in work on international projects and programmes.The abovementioned considerations impelled the Siberian Branch of the RussianAcademy of Sciences to organize a workshop, under NATO (Scientific andEnvironmental Affairs Division) sponsorship, “Science Policy: NewMechanisms for Scientific Collaboration Between East and West”. ThisWorkshop was held in Novosibirsk in 22-25 November 1993.
The Workshop participants, from17 countries, represented research institutes, universities, as well as NATO’sscientific bodies, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and other internationalorganizations. The range of discussed problems included current problems, aswell as prospects of international collaboration of scientists from both theEast and the West. The scope of discussion also included interdisciplinarypriority programmes demanding the combined efforts of scientists from manycountries, the experience in organizing the work of international researchcentres in Siberia as a new and promising form of international collaboration,some of their scientific results, and a suggestion of the direction in whichcollaboration should move.
One of the first priority areasamong joint East/West research programmes is the rational use of naturalresources and sustainable development of regions. The global boreal forest isone of the most productive ecosystems, but highly vulnerable to wrong forestrypractices, industrial pollution and fire. Because of its size and ecologicalfunctions boreal fires play an important role in ecosystem processes at globalscale. New research initiatives between Western and Eastern countries weredesigned to address the field of wildland fire science. Cooperative researchagreements under the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), inconjunction with the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA),have been used as research instruments to initiate a joint research campaign.The first phase of the Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN) wasimplemented under these agreements. More details on this East-West fire researchprogramme is published in the NATO workshop proceedings:
Goldammer, J.G. and V.V. Furyaev.1995. Global change, the boreal forest, and fire: Search for new strategies inscience policies and research mechanisms. Science Policy: New Mechanisms forScientific Collaboration between East and West (V.A. Koptyug and J. Klerkx,eds.), 45-61. NATO ASI Series 4, Science and Technology Policy Vol.1. KluwerAcademic Publishers, Dordrecht-Boston-London, 256 p.