Global Governance of Science: Wishful Thinking or a Life Necessity?

Global Governance of Science: Wishful Thinking or a Life Necessity?

Yury Nikolayevich Sayamov (UNESCO Chair on Global Problems and Emerging Social and Ethical Challenges for Large Cities and Their Population, Faculty of Global Processes, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJTEM.2015070103
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The article draws attention to the role of education technologies within the entire issue of the global governance of science considered here to be of growing importance for the present world development. Introducing the notions of the global knowledge world and the knowledge society, the author presents the vision of the management of science as of an international task and one of development goals. He analyses the relationship of science and bureaucracy establishing a kind of a systematization for the decision making process related to science and explains his point of view that the global governance of science could be based on the activities of international bodies and structures of intergovernmental nature (IIGOs), most importantly of UN and UNESCO, and of non-governmental character (INGOs). Taking into account various aspects of internal and external management of science, the author points out that the global management of science appears to be a life necessity due to the growing need to jointly search for global scientific responses to the global problems, new risks and challenges that mankind is facing. In conclusion some ideas are expressed and proposals given how, in the author's opinion, to foster the goal of the global governance of science.
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The idea of governing the world is most probably as old as humanity itself. Only recently, educational technologies added significant potential to harmonize educational contents and educational processes on an international level – and such is actually cared for and implemented by the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of its aims.

At the beginning of its history the world of the human being was small consisting of separate areas people were living in. The first river civilizations in Ancient Egypt along the Nile River, in Mesopotamia called the Fertile Crescent of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in Ancient China and India along the Yellow River and the Indus not to mention the Mexican and Peruvian civilizations on the yet-to-be discovered American continent existed in isolated manner and lacking in knowledge about the others.

The end of the isolated existence of peoples and the opening of a new page in the common global history of mankind came approximately 37 centuries ago when the Egyptian pharaoh Tutmes of the XVIIIth dynasty undertook the subjugation of Syria and reached Mesopotamia thus bridging the gap between two great civilizations for the first time. According to the known French scientist Gaston Camille Charles Maspero (1846-1916, French scientist, researcher of ancient civilizations), it was the beginning of the common world historical drama that has been played since that time on the global scene, merely changing its contents, actors and outside appearance.

With great geographic discoveries paving the ways between civilizations, the exchange of knowledge acquired important dimensions. Perhaps it was this which made Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626, English scientist, philosopher and statesman) declare his famous “Scientia potentia est” (knowledge is power).

However, what is knowledge and what is science has remained to the present day debatable, as well as notions of science governance and the governance of science.

According to the Report of the Expert Group on Global Governance of Science of the European Commission (EC, 2009, p. 8), “science is broadly conceived as a special kind of knowledge along with a distinctive set of practices and cultures for producing it”.

In the Latin language “science” means “knowledge”. Science, being a human enterprise, produces and forms knowledge. People engaged in science are what we call scientists whereas science itself, on the other hand, can be considered in a sense as what scientists are doing.

Today it is widely recognized that science belonging to the whole of mankind represents the major driving force of globalization. It caused the emergence of the notion of global knowledge. “Global processes and the emergence of the information society gave rise to the notion of the Global Knowledge World and subsequently the so-called ‘knowledge society’” (Ilyin and Ursul. 2012, p. 107). For that target, curricula for “Global Studies” are implemented in several cities, including the Lomonosov State University in Moscow that frequently hosts conferences (FGP, 2012; Sayamov, 1976, p. 62; 1980, p. 160, 1990, p. 21, 1991, p. 338, 2005, 2012; Ahamer, 2005, 2012; 2013a,b).

The knowledge society meant the increase and the acceleration of the exchange of knowledge, of transfer and integration leading to the globalization of the cognitive activity.

The management of science has ever been more acquiring the characteristics of an international task crossing national boundaries.

The feeling that there is a growing necessity for a kind of global management of science has increased as a result of its changing geography.

Historically, science was concentrated around a limited number of countries. Now, more science is being done and greater knowledge produced by more people in a greater number of places. Traditional centers of science – France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia – found themselves in the XXth century facing a changed global arrangement with new, rapidly developing science powers: the United States of America, which attracted and accumulated scientists from all over the world, and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics which absorbed Russia and its scientific patrimony. They formed two poles of the bipolar world order established after the end of the Great War in 1945.

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