The Globalization of Science

Many important science-based issues require study by internationally-based organizations in order to be widely accepted by governments. To meet this need, the InterAcademy Council was founded by a worldwide organization of 100 national science academies called the InterAcademy Panel (IAP), governed by a Board that represents a range of economic development levels.

SAN FRANCISCO – Science provides an invaluable source of guidance to individuals and governments. This is true, in part, because scientists can often predict the future consequences of current actions.

For example, we know that someone who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day is likely to have a serious problem with cancer some 40 years later. And science predicts that, unless we severely constrain consumption of oil and coal around the world, the climate will continue to warm, increasing ocean volume and melting huge amounts of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic – thereby causing disastrous rises in sea level.

These are but two examples of thousands of instances in which it makes good sense for decision-makers to take into account what science can predict about the future. And yet, what science knows is far too often overlooked when high-stakes decisions are made.

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