Vol. 21, No. 1
Books and Publications
Occasional Paper Series
This series is an effort towards influencing public policy
in grappling with diverse and complex issues that cannot be ignored
in the path to sustainable national development. The series addresses
topics which have a bearing on science and technology and is specially
targeted at policy makers and governments in developing countries. Each
paper is authored by experts of international standing, with experience
in and concern for development issues. Four papers are expected
to be published annually and widely disseminated. Copies of these papers
may be obtained on request to the COSTED International Secretariat.
The following publications can be obtained from the
COSTED Central Secretariat
24, Gandhi Mandapam Road
Chennai 600 025 India.
Tel.: +91 44 4901367
Fax: +91 44 4914543
Communicating with the Public, Politicians, and the Media
Global Environmental Good: A SocioEthical Compulsion in
the 21st Century
Journal Publishing in the Developing World?
up for the Efficient Management of Intellectual Property Rights in the
Occasional Paper No. 1:
Communicating with the Public, Politicians, and the Media
Juan G Roederer, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska --
Fairbanks. July 1998.
There is widespread concern about the low visibility of
science and technology among the public and, more importantly, the decision
makers. While the reasons for this concern may be attributed to cultural,
political, and social factors, the fact remains that science and technology
is a vital instrument that must be interwoven into the development agenda
of every country, big or small, developed or underdeveloped. A recent
survey by the International Council for Science (ICSU) revealed that
more and more young people are opting for careers other than science.
This could lead to an alarming scenario, where the practitioners and
implementers of science and technology research would become a vanishing
Dr. Juan Roederer, Professor of Physics Emeritus at the
University of Alaska, was invited to write this monograph for COSTED,
recognising his long and rich experience in science policy and consultative
status on science and technology for national governments in developing
countries. He nurtures a deep concern for enhancing the voice and visibility
of science, especially in developing countries, and believes that this
is best done by targeting and influencing the younger generation.
This paper offers a set of guiding principles on the do's
and don'ts for the practitioners of science while communicating with
the public, the polity, and the media. Written in a delightfully practical
style, the paper points out common misconceptions and attitudinal barriers
towards making more effective use of science. This paper is a sincere
effort to help scientists demystify science to the common man and to
help decision makers harness the potential of this vital tool for human
Occasional Paper No. 2:
Global Environmental Good: A SocioEthical Compulsion in the 21st
Ranjan R. Daniel, July 1998.
The impact of human developmental activities on the earth's
environment has received wide-ranging attention from the media, public,
science and technology community, policy makers, government, and development
and donor agencies. During the past quarter-century or so, no other
issue has assumed such a global dimension and significance for the human
A number of landmark events aimed at checking and mitigating
the effects of human activities on the environment have occurred. The
Rio Conference, World Climate Research Program, the International GeosphereBiosphere
Program and recently, the Kyoto Conference, have all examined the complex
dimensions of environmental consequences. The human dimension of the
problem has gained increasing visibility and concern.
Notwithstanding the systematization of scientific understanding
of the earth system and its processes, of human impact on the environment,
and the formulation of regulatory protocols, it is imperative to recognize
an element of moral and ethical compulsion to maintain the environment
for ensuing generations. This present paper focuses on this aspect.
Prof. R.R. Daniel, former Scientific Secretary of COSTED,
has a rich and long experience in development issues and global environmental
concerns. He spearheaded a number of national, regional, and local missions
in enhancing awareness and preparedness to meet the challenges of these
complex environmental issues. In this paper, Prof. Daniel recapitulates
the global scenarios related to environmental concerns and the various
developments and movements aimed at international and regional cooperation.
He reviews international policy after the Rio Conference and advocates
a new socioethical and moral compulsion for global well being.
Occasional Paper No. 3:
Scientific Journal Publishing in the Developing World?
Ana Maria Cetto, Instituto de Fisica, Universidad Nacional, Autónoma
de Mexico. July 1998.
Scientific publications are a good indication of the intellectual
effort of every science and technology community. It is popularly said
that without publications science is dead.
Scientific publications serve as an instrument for information
dissemination, as building blocks for furtherance of research, as the
basis for scientific research and inquiry, and above all provide potential
for application through technical and industrial innovation.
As in every other sphere, there is a yawning gap in the
quantity of scientific literature that emanates from the developed and
the developing countries. It is interesting to analyze why this is so;
more importantly, the impetus for publishing in the developing world
is not strong enough to reflect the results of scientific effort in
the printed form. At the same time, there is a significant volume of
undocumented knowledge and wisdom handed down to the generations by
word of mouth. In the present era of competing intellectual property
rights and the exploitation of knowledge for wealth generation, this
issue gains a special relevance and importance.
Prof. Ana Maria Cetto, a Senior Professor of Physics at
UNAM, Mexico and former Vice Chair of the COSTED Executive Committee,
has a deeply committed association to the cause of strengthening scientific
publications in the developing world. She has organized several activities
aimed at enhancing the visibility, quality, quantity, and the impact
of scientific publication emanating from the developing world. In this
paper she surveys the status of scientific publications around the world
and the distinct disparities in the developing world. As a typical example,
she examines the critical issues that confront the Latin American region
and recommends examples of initiatives to strengthen scientific publishing.
This publication is most timely and appropriate and is
aimed specifically at developing countries that possess enormous science
and technology manpower and research efforts, but are unable to translate
all of them into the printed media. It is hoped that the book will serve
as a guideline for scientific institutions, regional bodies, and policy
makers on the importance of documented information for economic application
and industrial innovation.
Occasional Paper No. 4:
Gearing up for the Efficient Management of Intellectual Property
Rights in the 21st Century
N. R. Subbaram, Consultant (IPR), with contributions from G. Thyagarajan,
Scientific Secretary, COSTED. July 1998.
In recent years many countries have liberalized and globalized
their economies. Many countries, like India, are in the process of opening
up their economies. Consequently, new competitive pressures have arisen
in these countries, particularly the developing countries. The definition
of competition itself has now undergone a change. It is being increasingly
acknowledged that the competitiveness of an enterprise and its ability
to capture the market depends largely on its ability to manage the "internal"
environment for developing innovative technologies. Furthermore, technology
is also increasingly becoming a valuable commercial or tradable asset
and a dominating factor in determining competitiveness.
In order to develop newer technologies and promote inventiveness,
it is essential to invest heavily in research and development (R&D).
Investment costs in R&D are also increasing rapidly along with the
competitiveness. Protection of the results of R&D gains importance
under the circumstances.