Science Policy: New Mechanisms for Scientific Collaboration between East and West
(Novosibirsk, Russia, 22-25 November 1993)
On the eve of the 21st century our civilisation is colliding with the next global problem, demanding a global solution. It is becoming more and more clear that the future of the world will be impossible without scientific support, analysis, prediction, and the use of scientific achievements. The immensity of these problems, and the limited financial 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 situation has uncovered Russia’s and the former Soviet Union’s scientific potential to the rest of the world community. This situation has given rise to wider opportunities for involvement in work on international projects and programmes. The above mentioned considerations impelled the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences to organize a workshop, under NATO (Scientific and Environmental Affairs Division) sponsorship, “Science Policy: New Mechanisms for Scientific Collaboration Between East and West”. This Workshop was held in Novosibirsk in 22-25 November 1993.
The Workshop participants, from 17 countries, represented research institutes, universities, as well as NATO’s scientific bodies, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and other international organizations. The range of discussed problems included current problems, as well as prospects of international collaboration of scientists from both the East and the West. The scope of discussion also included interdisciplinary priority programmes demanding the combined efforts of scientists from many countries, the experience in organizing the work of international research centres in Siberia as a new and promising form of international collaboration,some of their scientific results, and a suggestion of the direction in which collaboration should move.
One of the first priority areas among joint East/West research programmes is the rational use of natural resources and sustainable development of regions. The global boreal forest is one of the most productive ecosystems, but highly vulnerable to wrong forestry practices, industrial pollution and fire. Because of its size and ecological functions boreal fires play an important role in ecosystem processes at global scale. New research initiatives between Western and Eastern countries were designed to address the field of wildland fire science. Cooperative research agreements under the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), in conjunction 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) was implemented under these agreements. More details on this East-West fire research programme 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 in science policies and research mechanisms. Science Policy: New Mechanisms for Scientific Collaboration between East and West (V.A. Koptyug and J. Klerkx,eds.), 45-61. NATO ASI Series 4, Science and Technology Policy Vol.1. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht-Boston-London, 256 p.