No. 45, May 2004
OO Sopron 2004 -- The IPRA Conference -- The INES Council Meeting -- The INES Workshop
OO The Ethics of Science -- Tom Børsen Hansen
OO The INES Special Projects Fund
OO A European Research Council - The Life Scientists View -- Maurice Errera
OO Remembering a Great Scientist and Peace Activist -- Reiner Braun and Sandra Striewski
OO Annual Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative -- Editorial
OO The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) -- Mirjam Haegele
The IPRA Conference
PEACE AND CONFLICT IN A TIME OF GLOBALIZATION
Sopron, Hungary, 5-9 July 2004
The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) celebrates its 40th anniversary by organizing an International Conference in Sopron, Hungary. Sopron lies 60 km to the south of Vienna and is easiest reached from there by train or bus.
All further information can be found on the website
The INES Council Meeting
Sopron, 2-4 July 2004
The INES Council Meeting 2004 will take place in the weekend before the IPRA Conference in Sopron. All registration for the Council Meeting and the following Workshop should be made at the INES office by means of the enclosed registration form or electronically. The office will also take care of hotel reservation and of visa requests for Hungary.
Hotel prices are 40 Euro per night for a single and 55 Euro for a double room.
Friday 2d - Arrival
Saturday 3d, Morning
Opening, reports of Chair and Treasurer,
reports of Project Groups INESAP and INESPE.
Saturday 3d, Afternoon
Education, INES Youth and Student Project,
INES Einstein Project.
Sunday 4th, Morning
INES Activities 2004/2005,
Future projects: Africa, water, sustainable energy,
The INES Workshop
Sopron, 5-7 July 2004
The INES Workshop is arranged as a parallel session to the IPRA Conference.
In the workshop the following subjects will be discussed:
Peace and Sustainability;
Responsibility and Education;
War Politics, the Iraq War;
War and Weapons;
In addition, there will be a session devoted to European problems and the present status of the European nations.
The INES Newsletter
is edited by Armin Tenner, Buziaustraat 18, 1068 KN Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
E-mail: ; Tel:
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The Ethics of Science
Tom Børsen Hansen
Dr. Hansen is a researcher at the Centre Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies, at the University of Copenhagen. In 2001-2002 he served as chairperson of International Student / Young Pugwash, in 2000-2003 he acted as head of the research network "Ethics, Education, and the Academic Sciences," and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of INES.
The aim of this article is to characterize what is meant by the phrase "the ethics of science." The reason for addressing this theme is the recommendation from UNESCO's World Conference on Science that the ethics of science should be an integral part of the education and training of all scientists.
The ethos of science
The majority of writings on scientific ethics focus on good scientific behaviour. Ethics of science writings often set up norms and rules, which should be followed by members of the scientific community, in order to guaranty the credibility, or truthfulness, of scientific results. The archetype of good scientific behaviour is reflected in Merton's ethos of science, known under the acronym CUDOS. [Robert Merton: "Science and Democratic Social Structure" in Social Theory and Social Structure - Enlarged Edition, New York: The Free Press, 1968. The article was first published in 1942].
In 1942 Robert Merton suggested that good scientific practice includes the sharing of scientific results with others, whereby everyone, expert as well as layperson, in principle, is able to challenge and use scientific results. Science is in other words Communal. Merton also argued that science should
be a democratic project, not excluding persons or groups on the basis of nationality, gender or culture. Science is Universal. The scientific communities were warned by Merton not to let their research projects be financed by power structures with special interests in the outcome of the scientific projects. Financial independence would, argued Merton, diminish external control and distortion of scientific results. Science must be Disinterested. Finally Merton stated that scientists should not only be involved in the production of new knowledge; scientists are also committed to be critical towards scientific knowledge claims raised by their colleagues, and obliged to test their colleagues' results. Hence, the peer-review system plays an important part in the scientific endeavour. It gives scientific knowledge its reliability and validity, because independent peers have tested it. Science rests on Organised Scepticism.
The British physicist and sociologist of science, John Ziman, has argued that the kind of knowledge that ought to be produced at universities must follow Merton's norms. [John Ziman: "Real Science - What it is and what it means," Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000]. Ziman calls this kind of knowledge production academic science. Turning from a normative perspective to a descriptive one, it is my impression that the ethos of science is deeply rooted in the collective consciousness of academic science, which indeed is represented in current social structures institutionalised at and around the university. This is not to say that academic scientists working at universities always act according to the ethos of science or that scientific communities do not encompass counter norms that accompany Merton's norms, as Mitroff suggests. [Ian Mitroff: "Norms and counter-norms in a select group of the Apollo moon scientists: A case study of the ambivalence of scientists," American Sociological Review, Vol. 39, 1974, pp. 579-95] Neither do I want to imply that scientific research and technological development, carried out in institutions different from universities, always follow Merton's ethos of science.
The point I want to make is that scientists and engineers are ethically committed to produce credible knowledge, as well as being responsible for transparency with regard to the methods and social processes that support the credibility of their claims - if they are in a position to do so! At universities, the social structures have been built to honour such ethical behaviour. This is not always the case in other research settings.
The ethics of science encompass individual behaviour and the social and institutional structures that honour such behaviour.
Misuse of science
The list of examples where science and technology has benefited humanity is long and numerous. The improvement of our health, our food, our houses and our schools is based on scientific and technological achievements. However, despite the positive impact on human affairs, science and technology is sometimes, deliberately or unintentionally, misused.
At the 1st Pugwash workshop on Science, Ethics and Society, held in Paris in June 2003, this issue was discussed. In the workshop report it is stated that "[a] number of legitimate scientific research activities are of dual use, with both civilian and military applications, and in these cases an evaluation of whether to pursue them always has a moral element. One of the greatest concerns at present is biotechnology." [Venance Journé and Judith Reppy: "Report from the 1st Pugwash work- shop on Science, Ethics and Society," Pugwash, 2003. Available at www.pugwash.org/reports/ees/paris2003-report.htm]
The focus of the work of the Pugwash workshop series on Science, Ethics and Society, is not so much the accountability of scientific results, as on deliberate or unintentional harmful applications of scientific discoveries. Hence this perspective on the ethics of science adds something qualitatively new to the approach of Robert Merton.
Again the duality between individual responsibility and appropriate mechanisms of social regulation is a fruitful framework for dealing with the issue. Scientists and engineers ought to choose not to get involved in applying scientific insight to the development of, for example, new weapons; but if no social mechanisms are set up to prevent such applications, nothing much is gained at the accumulated social level. (If one scientist chooses not to do it, another one properly will.)
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an example of a social mechanism that has been set up to prohibit one "important and very dangerous kind of weapons of mass annihilation, committing the State Parties to the destruction of the chemical-weapons stockpiles and the production facilities." [Jirí Matousek: "Chemical Weapons Convention after the First Review Conference," INES Newsletter, no. 44, 2004]
The CWC also sets up an Ethics Project, maintained by the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which tries to promote peaceful uses of chemistry. On the official website of OPCW, the ethics project is described as follows: "The Ethics Project seeks to develop links with academic research centres, educational and other relevant institutions and organizations, as well as entities affected by the Chemical Weapons Convention to promote an awareness of the ethical dimensions of the Convention." [http://www.opcw.org/ep/]. What kind of technological applications of scientific results can be characterized as desirable or ethical? As I interpret the ethics project of OPCW, applications of scientific results which are not peaceful are unethical. In the INES community some argue, including myself, that this definition is not strict enough. Applications of scientific results should not only be peaceful; they should also promote sustainable development. [For an account of the concept of sustainability, see Joachim Spangenberg: "Sustainable Science: Which Science and Technology for Sustainable Development?" INES Newsletter, no. 39, 2002]
Merton's ethos of science poses no restrictions on which questions can be scrutinised by academic science. According to Thomas Kuhn, academic science consists of two forms: normal and revolutionary science. [Thomas Kuhn: "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd enlarged edition", University of Chicago Press, 1970]
Normal science, which is the most predominant form of academic science, deals with riddle solving. Scientists compete in solving the riddles defined by the disciplinary matrix under which they work.
This has (at least) four consequences. The first one is, that it is the scientists' fascination of solving scientific riddles that drives normal science forward. The second is that the scientific communities identify with the scientific riddles that are most prestigious to solve. The third feature is that normal research does not aim at solving "the really pressing problems, e.g. a cure for cancer or the design for a lasting peace, [which] are often not puzzles at all, largely because they may not have any solution." [Ibid., p. 37] The fourth consequence is that the ethical aspects are decoupled from the choices of problems undertaken by scientists doing normal science.
My reason for drawing attention to Kuhn's philosophy of science is that it focuses on the structural aspects of normal science, and on how the identified structures co-form the actions of individual scientists. Also here we see the interconnection between the individual and the structural levels. On the descriptive level I believe that Kuhn gives a fairly accurate account of the existing mechanisms behind the selection of normal scientific questions. However, here I want to warn against reifying the sociological mechanisms that today guide many individual academic scientists' choice of research questions, and hence decouple them from the ethical sphere.
In a celebrated paper Funtowicz and Ravets distinguish between four kinds of scientific activities: core science (equivalent to academic science), applied science, professional consultancy and post-normal science. [Silvio O. Funtowicz and Jerome R. Ravets: "Science for the post-normal age," Futures, vol. 25, pp. 735-755, 1993] The latter category of scientific activities denotes an approach to handling problems characterized by either high system uncertainties or decision stakes.
The point I want to make is that post-normal science indeed is aimed at handling "the really pressing problems" (which Funtowicz and Ravets call policy issues), for example those of risk and environment. Without going into details with the features of post-normal science, I will note that post-normal science is not merely politics or public participation. [Ibid. p. 750] It is an activity that encompasses scientific input into the problem-solving strategy of "the really pressing problems," without reducing it to that: "Out of all this must come a set of forecasts which will provide the scientific input to decision processes; these will contribute to policy recommendations that must then be implemented on a broad scale. But all the causal elements are uncertain in the extreme; to wait until all the facts are in, would be another form of imprudence." [Ibid. p. 751]
When normal science is seen as part of a post-normal problem-solving strategy, it couples normal science and ethical aspects. Some scientific riddles are more important to solve than others, when they are used as part of a decision-making process aimed at promoting public health, disarmament, or a sustainable development. In the post-normal problem-solving strategy extended peer-review communities identify the relevant research questions.
"A whistleblower is a person who publicly reveals criminal or unscrupulous actions in his or her working environment, or divulges suppressed and distorted information about dangers to human health and the environment." [Armin Tenner: "Whistleblowers," INES Newsletter, no. 43, 2003]
In Michael Mann's motion picture The Insider the true story of whistleblower Dr. Jeffrey Wigand is told. After Dr. Wigand stops as head of a research and development department at the Brown and Williamsson Tobacco Company, he decides to go public with the suppressed information that Brown and Williamsson enhance the addictive effect of tobacco, not by spiking with additional nicotine, but by manipulating it using ammonia-chemistry. The nicotine is 'impact boosted' - it is converted into a form that is more rapidly absorbed in the lungs and hence in the brain and central nervous system.
To prevent Wigand from blowing the whistle his former employer threatens him financially. Promised monthly payments will be cancelled, and prosecution for breaking a confidential agreement is initiated. When these threats do not stop him from getting in contact with Lowell Bergman, a journalist at the CBS program "60 minutes" and former student of Herbert Marcuse, other kinds of harassment begin. Wigand is spied on, he receives threats on the lives of himself and his family, and lies about his past are leaked to the press.
As the story ends, the unscrupulous actions of Brown and Williamsson have been revealed to the public. But by that time Wigand has lost his job, his wife and children have left him and his personal life has been scrutinised in public. Being a whistleblower is not without personal sacrifice!
As mentioned above, scientific results produced at universities are entangled with social processes that in practice support their reliability and validity. The situation is very different for knowledge produced outside universities, for example in private companies and military research institutions. Here Merton's ethos of science is not in service, as knowledge produced in private or military research laboratories is not necessarily made public, and therefore cannot always be tested systematically by the scientific community.
Not all scientists or engineers work under university-like conditions, which allow them to publish their findings, nor are all allowed to be transparent with regard to their (methodological) foundation. Hence, due to the lack of appropriate social structures, we can not take it for granted that we can trust knowledge claims raised by 'non-transparent' sources, such as the research laboratory of a tobacco company or a governmental institution defending state policy, nor can we assume that we are told the whole story.
Trust in knowledge claims posed by 'non-transparent' institutions, where the ethos of science is not a guiding principle, could be gained if an alternative social mechanism was set up to prevent such institutions from holding back vital information from the public, or distorting it before it is made public. Here I want to suggest that Whistleblowing can constitute such a mechanism. The argument is that it will not be in the self-interest of 'non-transparent' institutions to act in unethical ways if they risk whistleblowers' disclosures.
For whistleblowing to become institutionalized as a social mechanism that minimizes unethical behaviour in closed research settings, I think several conditions need to be fulfilled: First of all the lives of whistleblowers must not be destroyed after blowing the whistle. Only few persons will blow the whistle if the most likely consequence is personal destruction. Harassment of whistleblowers could be minimized if laws were passed that explicitly criminalized such harassment.
Secondly, an independent institution needs to be set up that can control the truthfulness of accusations raised by whistleblowers. The institution needs a team of trusted inspectors that have the power to investigate and evaluate whistleblowers' allegations.
Thirdly scientists and engineers must feel obliged to blow the whistle, when they encounter wrongdoing. The seed to this feeling can be sowed in ethical training programs for science and engineering students.
Ethical training of science and engineering students
At the UNESCO World Conference on Science (WCS), held in Budapest in 1999, it was recommended that "[t]he ethics and responsibility of science should be an integral part of the education and training of all scientists. It is important to instill in the students a positive attitude towards reflection, alertness and awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may encounter in their professional lives. Young scientists should be appropriately encouraged to respect and adhere to the basic ethical principles and responsibilities of science. UNESCO's World Commission on Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) in cooperation with ICSU's Standing Committee on Responsibility and Ethics of Science (SCRES), have a special responsibility to follow up on this issue." [Ana Maria Cetto (ed.): "Proceedings of the WCS", UNESCO, 2000, p. 482. Available at http://www.unesco.org/science/wcs/ ? "proceedings..."]
In august 2003 COMEST issued a report entitled "The Teaching of Ethics," as a follow-up initiative to the recommendation of the WCS. ["The Teaching of Ethics", The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, 2003. Available at http://portal.unesco.org/shs/admin/ev.php?url_id =1855&url_do=do_topic&url_section=201 ? "report."] The report discusses how a scientist "can maintain high standards of scientific integrity and quality control when the relationship between the researcher and other actors such as universities, the state, corporations and international trade organizations are changing? How can one increase the young scientist's ability to distinguish right from wrong and to feel social and environmental responsible?" [Ibid., p. 2] One of the means to do so is ethical training of science and engineering students, where the students will develop competence in ethics, which has to do with argumentation and offering "a set of reasons or evidence in support of a conclusion. An argument is supposed to provide evidence, give us reasons to believe." [Ibid., p. 5]
In this article I have suggested that we should understand the phrase "the ethics of science" as concerning the dialectics between the dispositions of the individual scientist and the surrounding social structures and mechanisms. This perspective complements, and is complemented by, the views in the COMEST report, with its strong focus on the rational determination of how techno-scientific research and development institutions, as well as individual scientists and engineers, ought to behave. How to combine these two perspectives, is indeed an interesting and important question.
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The INES Special Projects Fund
In 1998 the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation established the "INES Special Projects Fund." We want to remind you of the existence of this fund. Members of INES and of INES member organizations may apply for a remittance of up to $500 from this fund, in order to get projects ? which are in accord with the intentions of INES ? through a difficult time (critical edge funding). The money may be spent for publication of articles or books, for traveling etc.
Applications should contain a short explanation and may be sent to:
Armin Tenner, E-mail: ;
or to the INES office: Nicola Hellmich, E-mail:
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About the Einstein celebrations
A European Research Council - The Life Scientists View
Emeritus Professor - Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de la Vie
The idea of creating a European Research Council (ERC) probably arose in the early 1960's during discussions which led to the foundation of EMBO (the European Molecular Biology Organization). The idea did not materialize at the time perhaps because the economical importance of research was not fully appreciated and that the concept of Europe was relatively weak.
The European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF), grouping many associations, offered its support to gather the scientific community's views on the possibility of establishing an ERC. The document produced (October 2003) is the object of this discussion.
The ERC should promote and support basic research at the European level and, according to the Lisbon (2000) and Barcelona (2002) summits, "work towards improving science quality and output towards the establishment of a common market of research ... complementary to the framework program of the E.C. ... to achieve a critical mass of expertise and resources that are needed to sustain on a competitive basis the generation of new knowledge through basic research and subsequently its conversion into economic and social benefits ... there is a consensus that the ERC, if established, should cover all disciplines from physics and mathematics to the social sciences and humanities."
Of course the border line between fundamental and applied research is difficult to define, and also when and how they will contribute to economic and social benefits. In this respect it seems important to emphasize the ambivalence of scientific discoveries: they can lead to economic benefits which turn out to be social catastrophes. The example of weapons of mass destruction is present in all minds, and it is regrettable that Einstein's message "We must adopt a new way of thinking for humanity to survive" has not reached the University and has not become one of its top priorities. This message is the essence of the Russell-Einstein manifesto of July 19th, 1955, signed by eminent scientists among which Frederic Joliot, Hermann Muller, Linus Pauling, Joseph Rotblat and others. It was also a major objective of the United Nations and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as of some humanitarian organizations sometimes since much longer.
A high social conscience should be the prerequisite to all scientific research and of course to solve economic and social problems; it should contribute to replace weapons-based international relations by more humane ones. This, of course, cannot be done overnight, but scientists of all disciplines have to take part in this endeavour.
Scientists can no more remain in an ivory tower, be it globalized! A knowledge-based society implies that information does not only come from books, scientific papers, university lectures. Priority problems should be about solving worldwide poverty and injustice, water shortage and pollution, uncontrolled weapons production and terrorism ...; and also about what the University can do to develop "European spirit" and endeavour with other nations to solve these problems, contribute to World Peace and to the sustainable development of the planet. Diplomatic and political efforts towards these goals have dramatically failed so far, probably through lack of involvement of responsible and active civil societies and for lack of solid information of most politicians, their need to solve immediate local problems and their constant electoral preoccupations.
Einstein's message and the problems outlined above should be summarized by one major question: how can the present culture for war - a legacy from preceding centuries - be made to evolve into a culture for peace?
The reflections concerning ERC can be addressed together with statements made in several recent editorials in Science. Philippe Busquin, European commissioner for Research of the E.C. (9.1.04) emphasizes that the Lisbon and Barcelona agreements include "making Europe the most competitive knowledge based economy in the world ... devoting 3% of its gross domestic product to research." He also deplores that the interest of young people for a scientific career is decreasing because "European researchers suffer from lack of public recognition of their work, their profession and their role in Society." This is in phase with Donald Kennedy and others (20.2.04): a science career appeals much less to American students, but it is not so for foreign students because they have better working conditions in the USA than back in their country. There is certainly a lack of attractivity for a science career; it might be improved by better recognition and better salaries, and by more involvement of younger generations in science planning.
Could the lack of interest of the young not also be due to the lack of vision of Universities towards improving the world situation and for not involving the young in a search for such a vision?
More universal, F.E. Kafatos, (the director of EMBO) and Th. Eisner (27.2.04) discuss the need to bring together the two main domains (of biology): "one extending from the molecule to the organism, the other bringing together population biology, biodiversity studies and ecology ... We are learning much too little about real species in the wild : humans, pathogens, disease carriers, agricultural pests." Humans in the wild! Fascinating!
In this respect, observation of humans in their wild environment is a fundamental problem and, like others, we at the "Institut de la Vie" have been advocating the necessity for students to be encouraged within their university curriculum to involve themselves with humanitarian associations in humanitarian problems. Universities could well contribute with the students to the understanding of the "wild," that is where this humanitarian work is needed - be it at home with refugees and displaced persons, elsewhere in Europe or in this "wild" world. A deeper understanding of dramatic situations would emerge by working on the "terrain."
Let us take the example of a young refugee from Africa arriving in Europe. We have to admit that his will to migrate is a sign of initiative, of the will to improve his- and his family's conditions, or maybe also of his despair. He had the boldness to undertake a difficult and expensive trip, usually very dangerous and, once in Europe, to face a suspicious administration. These ordeals are undoubtedly a proof of intelligence, of character, of perseverance and by themselves constitute a merciless selection process. Unfortunately, most of them are sent back where they came from, not having gained much for themselves or for their country! Students confronted with these problems and encouraged to meet these people "face to face" and learn "in vivo" about the situation in their far-away country or their family would be subject, we hope, to feelings of sympathy and solidarity. If such processes involved European countries - old and new -, it would probably lead to a "European feeling," a sense of Europe which could be reflected on the civil society through an intelligent mediatization of these exchanges. If they are not sent back home, one tells the refugees to become integrated in the country which accepts them. But how can this be done in our cities where most of them live in abominable conditions, crowded in slums or worse? Their children have difficulties in school, no leisure facilities and finally many do not find jobs. On the other hand, one tells us that we need young foreign labour manpower for feeding the pension system for our local retired people!!
If there are slums or shacks, it is because in our cities there is a lack of suitable living space, even for some local citizens. Why is this? Supply and demand attract more or less wealthy people in well aerated and comfortable quarters, which often leave ill-utilized or empty space, or others overcrowded or occupied by offices. How can we expect in these conditions to integrate refugees living in unhealthy or dangerous ghettos, propitious to revolt ... an ideal environment to recruit future terrorists, conscious of the injustice of their condition, without any hope to improve it and perhaps with a rising feeling of hate?
Of course, several European education programs do exist. But Erasmus, which promotes the exchange of students within European countries, involves at present about 120.000 students each year. It is certainly of great help, but it concerns only a very small minority of them, and does this lead to any coherent vision of Europe, of the leading role it should play in solving these problems and in promoting world wide development? Competitiveness is certainly an important stimulus for scientific research and economical development, but does it lead to a world of solidarity, driven by unbiased information of the public at large about the world situation and to the critical evaluation of alternatives to its development?
Discussions between students, research staff and workers of associations would be a practical way of fully understanding what is found in the global "test tube." These discussions should be undertaken on a large scale and in "full daylight," that is publicized, for them to reach the civil society.
Since a few years, the Bernheim Foundation and the Pole Bernheim for Research on Peace and Citizenship1 organize such teaching in the Université Libre de Bruxelles; this should be amplified and developed with other Belgian and foreign universities. All Universities probably do develop activities relative to Peace and World problems; however they should be coordinated and made to interact. For this, one should find teachers and research staff susceptible of supervising dissertations and PhD theses to promote those interactions.
It would be just as important to know about the student's reactions concerning these activities about citizenship, their criticisms or appreciations about how these activities take place, if they are sufficiently publicized within the University, if they are discussed in student associations. Students must obviously be integrated in the organization of research towards Peace and teaching of Citizenship.
To move forward one should set up an interuniversity thinking group with professors, researchers, students, and from there on, organize wider meetings with those involved in Higher Education, Secondary schools, NGO's, ... The most efficient approach would be to start off by coordinating what is already being organized concerning the collaboration of students with NGO's and other associations for humanitarian work. We should better understand the way they work and how they conceive education towards citizenship.
One should also think about later on, and wonder if the education towards citizenship being organized could not replace in some way the compulsory military service of before, which was accepted by the young and which led to some sort of social mixing and civic education. One could begin to think of a "permanent education to citizenship" (compulsory or not), all along life, with periodical "recalls," specializations, reservists, ... But for the time being, this is but "citizenship fiction," and one should go forward with the easiest!
But even expanding what exists will have a cost; its financial evaluation could already be projected and modeled on the basis of the present cost of student exchanges.
Important organisms are of course conscious of some of the problems outlined here: the European Council and Commission, the United Nations; one should seek their collaboration and support.
Education to Citizenship should lead to a better management of the environment, to the fight against poverty and injustice, and thus indirectly against insecurity and terrorism, or also against the stupid, selfish or irresponsible waste of our "Common Goods." Prevention of conflicts through a better understanding of "the Other" is also a powerful way of avoiding colossal spending, in a world still devastated by wars and violence.
What is the University doing about all this? About mobilizing the young generation and find with it ways "to adopt a new way of thinking" to solve world problems? The conscience of all civil societies should be awakened because they must all contribute in finding "ways out the oil race," and eliminating the ongoing globalization of the most immediate and apocalyptic danger: the new nuclear arms race. Producing material wealth and goods is important, but humanity does not yet know how to do it without producing the dramatic state shown in the daily news, threatening the very existence of all children to come.
During the Einstein celebrations, it would be important to organize meetings or sessions where engineers and scientists would inform us on what is being done in their Universities or High Schools, and find ways of coordinating these activities with NGO's to promote research and action towards Peace and Sustainable Development.
The Einstein celebrations are an ideal opportunity to promote discussions on the above problems. The resulting action would be a tribute to the message he left us.
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Remembering a Great Scientist and Peace Activist
Reiner Braun and Sandra Striewski
Albert Einstein at a peace meeting in Berlin, 29 July 1923.
In 1905, a largely unknown Swiss Patent Office employee stepped onto the world with three discoveries that fundamentally revolutionized the world. All three discoveries were worthy of the Nobel Prize:
The Special Relativity Theory;
The theory of the Photoelectric Effect, confirming the quantization of light;
The explanation of the Brownian Motion, confirming the atomization of matter.
These scientific breakthroughs, which made Albert Einstein one of the world's famous scientists, reach their one-hundredth anniversary in the year 2005. This is also the 50th year of the death of this magnificent man. The Federal Government of Germany has declared this year to the Einstein year, and UNESCO is organizing the Year of Physics in 2005.
Fifty Nobel Prize winners and prominent scientists have issued an "Appeal to the International Einstein Year 2005" (see page 12). This Appeal, in which INES was substantially involved expresses appreciation of the "Citizen and Human Being Einstein" and commits to the realization of his political aims and visions, which, among other things include the demand for the abolition of war and elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Who was this exceptional person, what does he let us know, what would he tell young people nowadays? The great scientist, the civil rights campaigner Einstein, the pacifist and anti-militarist, the culture enthusiast, the pugnacious fighter, the loner - many names are found in the literature about this man. He revolutionized the world as a scientist but he was also scientifically in a category by himself. He was a thorn in the government's flesh. Secret services and police systematically monitored and spied on him until his death in 1955. The FBI file is a great fund of legal, civil engagement on the one hand, and small-minded spying and denunciation on the other hand.
With this short description we would encourage your engagement with the Einstein Year. It is clear:
Albert Einstein was a deeply socially thinking and acting person, a citizen of the world who involved himself in many debates regarding the most critical questions of his time.
Einstein was a political person who saw social problems and wanted to solve them socially and politically.
Often he seemed to be provoking and thinking, against the grain. He stood again and again in opposition to the establishment of his time.
There are many possibilities to use Einstein's enormous strength even today. Within INES the "Albert Einstein Project Group" was created, and will participate in the debates concerning the legacy of this unique man.
One specific task is to do justice to the entire personality of Einstein with his many facets.
These commemoration days now offer, both nationally and internationally, the opportunity and possibility to connect Einstein's political engagement with current questions: social responsibility, including the responsibility for peace and disarmament. This is an excellent time for public discussions on the life and engagement of Albert Einstein.
All INES members and member organizations are called to participate!
The Nobel Prize Laureate Appeal states:
"We the initiators of this appeal in support of the International Einstein Year 2005 aim to realize this vision of the future in the spirit of the great scientist and call on all peoples of the world for their support."
INES will accept this challenge.
Einstein's engagement for peace and the social responsibility of scientists stands at the centre of our planning. Now it is important to engage many institutions and organizations close to INES members and member organizations actively.
Planned for the year 2004 is a seminar on "Einstein and (peace) education" to be held on 5-6 November 2004 in Brussels.
During the INES Council 2004 at Sopron, Hungary, the project will be discussed and actions will be planned for 2005.
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Appeal to Support an International Einstein Year 2005
In the year 2005, scientists throughout the world will be celebrating the centenary of the theory of special relativity and the lightquantum hypothesis, both developed by Albert Einstein in 1905. The celebrations will also honour the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death in 1955.
Einstein was not only an extraordinary scientist, but also a scientist who faced his social responsibilities, intervened in political affairs and stood up and fought for civil rights. For his whole life, he was committed to social justice, disarmament, and peace.
As Einstein repudiated nationalistic attitudes and meaningless social rituals, the International Einstein Year 2005 should therefore reflect his universal and cosmopolitan stance.
The future of democratic societies rests on the comprehensive education and training of all its citizens. Scientific results must therefore be accessible to everyone. Education should not remain a privilege for the chosen few.
The future of the citizens of all countries depends on the willingness of those who are prepared to commit themselves to a principle of solidarity whereby fair cultural and social services and economic trading, as well as an ecologically sound use of resources are indispensable.
The future of mankind lies in the peaceful and tolerant cooperation between all countries and cultures. The elimination of atomic weapons and other means of mass destruction must therefore be the first and most important step in creating a world in which war as a means of solving conflicts no longer plays a role. To put it in Einstein's words:
"War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished."
Scientists from all over the world are called upon to face up to their social responsibilities and to commit themselves to making scientific results the cultural heritage of all people. In doing so, poverty, under-development, and ecological destruction can be counteracted in a peaceful manner.
In an interview from 1929 Einstein expressed his notion of a peaceful a commercially impartial world with the following words:
"Think of what a world we could build if the power unleashed in war were applied to constructive tasks! One tenth of the energy that the various belligerents spent in the World War, a fraction of the money they exploded in hand grenades and poison gas would suffice to raise the standard of living in every country and avert the economic catastrophe of world wide unemployment. We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart. Nothing that I can do or say will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes - good will among men and peace on earth."
We, the initiators of this appeal in support of the International Einstein Year 2005, aim to realize this vision of the future in the spirit of the great scientist and call on all peoples of the world for their support.
Prof. Dr. Zhores I. Alferov, Russia * Prof. Dr. Josef Altshuler, Cuba * Oscar Arias, Costa Rica * Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, USA * Ernesto Cardinal, Nicaragua * Col. (ret.) Pierre Canonne, France * Prof Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Sweden * Prof. Dr. Ana-Maria Cetto, Mexico * Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, Sri Lanka * Prof. Dr. Jean Dausset, France * Prof. Dr. Francisco Jose Delich, Argentina * Prof. Dr. Johann Deisenhofer, USA * Prof. Dr. Dietrich, USA and Austria * Prof. Dr. Manfred Eigen, Germany * Prof. R.R. Ernst, Switzerland * Prof. Dr. Vitaly Ginzburg, Russia * Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia * Prof. Karen Hallberg, Argentinia * Prof. Dr. Gerd Harigel, Switzerland * Prof. Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, USA * Prof. Dudley R. Herschbach, USA * Prof. Dr. Frank von Hippel, USA * Prof. Perez Hoodbhoy, Pakistan * Prof. Dr. Roald Hoffmann, USA * Prof. Dr. Tim Hunt, United Kingdom * IPPNW * IPB * Prof. Dr. Matthias Kreck, Germany * Prof. Dr. Walter Kohn, USA * Prof. Dr. Masahashi Koshika, Japan * Dr. David Krieger, USA * Prof. Dr. Paul Kurtz, USA * Dr. David Lange, New Zealand * Prof. Dr. Anne McLaren, United Kingdom * Prof. Dr. Jean Marie Lehn, France * Prof. Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, Italy * Prof. Dr. Phil Morrison, USA * Robert O. Muller, Thomas Gebauer * Prof. Dr. Erwin Neher, Germany * Prof. Dr. Hitoshi Ohnishi, Japan * Prof. Dr. Luis de la Pena Averbach, Mexico * Prof. Dr. Hugo Perez, Cuba * Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn, Germany * Senator Douglas Roche, Canada * Prof. Dr. Joseph Rotblat, United Kingdom * Acad. Dr. Yury Ryzhov, Russia * General Mohammed Kadry Sahid, Egypt * Prof. Dr. F. Sanger, United Kingdom * Prof. Dr. Joseph Stachel, USA * Prof. Dr. Jacques Steinberger, Switzerland * Dr. Marc B. M. Suh * Prof. Dr. Joseph H. Taylor, USA * Prof. Dr. John Walker, United Kingdom * Dr. Jakob von Uexküll, Germany * Prof. Dr. Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Germany * Prof. Dr. Manfred Wekwerth, Germany * Prof. Dr. Herbert Wulf, Germany * Dr. Alla Yaroshinskaja, Russia.
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Annual Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Middle Powers Initiative
The Middle Powers Initiative (MPI) [See Douglas Roche, INES Newsletter 42, September 2003] is a network of eight international NGOs (among which INES) under the chairmanship of the Canadian Senator Douglas Roche. The MPI confers with diplomats and middle power governments to find solutions for the elimination of nuclear weapons. [Middle powers are defined as politically and economically significant countries that have renounced nuclear arms] A main activity of the MPI is sending delegations to various governments to gain their support for arms reduction and nuclear abolition. Recently, five members of NATO have been visited to bring the NATO policy in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In addition, the MPI acted at the United Nations in New York and Geneva to strengthen the NPT.
The MPI is formally connected with the Global Security Institute (GSI) in San Francisco. The activity of this institute is to enhance security and to achieve the global elimination of atomic weapons. The GSI supports several programs, two of which are conducted in the United States: the Disarmament and Peace Education program and the Bipartisan Security Group that supplies the US Congress with information. Two other programs are international: the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament and the Middle Powers Initiative.
The annual meeting of the Steering Committee of the MPI was held on April 24th in New York. The major item on the agenda was the next Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference which will be held in 2005. The MPI discussed the policy priorities for the 2005 Review Conference in view of the serious threats to the NPT by the newly adopted strategy of the Nuclear Weapon States, i.e. the United States.
The NPT was concluded in 1970 as a treaty of unequal partners. The five states that by that time were officially in the possession of nuclear weapons signed the treaty with the promise that their nuclear arsenals would be eliminated in the course of time. The other signatories of the treaty had to make the commitment, not to strive for the possession of nuclear weapons. With the gradual removal of all nuclear weapons the inequality of the signatories would disappear, leaving nuclear energy exclusively to peaceful applications.
The signatory states hold an NPT Review Conference every five years; regular meetings of the Preparation Committee provide the input for these Conferences. This years' PrepCom Conference was held in New York from April 26th to May 7th. The MPI meeting had been scheduled immediately before this meeting. On 26th April, the MPI arranged a Forum for the Preparation Committee. In her keynote address, Marian Hobbs, the Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control for New Zealand expressed her disappointment about the progress made in reducing the nuclear weapons since the creation of the NPT in 1970, and her concern about the future status of the treaty.
The measures taken to reduce the arsenals of the Nuclear Powers are marginal and their effectiveness is highly disputable. Moreover, all Nuclear Weapon States are engaged in modernizing their weapons which is against the spirit of the NPT.
Still in the Final Statement of the last NPT Review Conference in 2000, the five declared Nuclear Weapon States reiterated their commitment to the gradual elimination of their weapons, speaking about an "unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals." In addition, in the Final Statement, the NPT signatories accepted a program of 13 Practical Steps leading to nuclear abolition in a foreseeable future.
The last three years have strongly changed the situation and endangered the position of the NPT. The US is rejecting its commitment made in 2000; the Nuclear Posture Review puts nuclear weapons in the middle of the US defense policy for an indefinite time, new nuclear weapons will be developed and their use in armed conflicts even with Non-Nuclear-Weapon States is considered a real option. The NPT will have to take the preservation of nuclear arsenals by the declared Nuclear Weapon States for granted and only must concentrate on violations of the proliferation ban, acting against North Korea and Iran and all the others who may try to enter the circle of the nuclear-weapon owners. The asymmetry of the NPT is more pronounced than ever.
For the Non-Nuclear-Weapon States this paradigm is unacceptable. The representative of Brazil at the PrepCom meeting phrased it as follows: "The fulfillment of the 13 steps on nuclear disarmament agreed during the 2000 Review Conference have been significantly - one could even say systematically - challenged by action and omission, and various reservations and selective interpretation by Nuclear Weapon States. Disregard for the provisions of Article VI may ultimately affect the nature of the fundamental bargain on which the Treaty's legitimacy rests." The 2005 NPT Review Conference is expected to show a confrontation between the Nuclear Weapon States and a newly-built alliance of opponents. Survival of the NPT is at stake.
A positive development reported at the MPI meeting was the tightening of the connections between the MPI and two other initiatives: The Mayors for Peace Association and the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament.
Mayors for Peace is an association of at present 580 mayors of cities in 108 countries who have the common aim formulated in their program: "... raising consciousness worldwide about the abolition of nuclear weapons through close cooperation among all the cities that approved the Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities, and contribution to establishment of the lasting world peace through solving problems such as hunger and poverty, refugees and human rights, environmental protection." The activities of the association consist of organizing fora, courses and symposia. There is a program of peace education, a framework for protecting children from war and a search is made for the improvement of the relationship between children and electronic media.
Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima is the chairman of Mayors for Peace. His presence during the MPI meeting is hoped to be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.
The Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament (PNND) binds together 250 parliamentarians from over 40 countries. By means of a website, parliamentary fora and regional conferences it provides information relevant to the parliamentary discussions and helps in setting up policy initiatives.
The two associations show the development of a new trend. Up till now the players in the international scene were governments on one hand and international NGOs on the other. The United Nations sympathize with the NGOs, because they feel their support in matters of disagreement with specific states. Now organizations of state officials come into existence that are strongly connected with NGOs. The members extend their actions across borders and take a position that may contradict with the policy of their own countries.
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Ten years on:
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)
and the basic human right to contraception
German Foundation for World Population (DSW)
Over the course of the last 40 years, the world's population has more than doubled in size to 6.3 billion people. Never before have so many people lived on the planet, never before was the use of water, raw materials and energy as high as it is today. The United Nations' current mid-term projections expect the world's population to hit around nine billion by 2050, with an annual population increase of around 77 million people - roughly the same number of people currently living in Germany.
Rapid population growth is a serious problem, especially for developing countries. Water, energy and crops are not the only commodities which are high in demand, but schools, universities, medical provision and other key infrastructures have to keep up with the current trend in population growth. And it is sustaining these infrastructures which is posing the greatest challenge to most developing countries.
Despite the fact that the world's population has in fact decreased at global level in recent years, the poorest countries of the world have recorded increasingly rapid population growth over the same period of time. For example, in Ethiopia, where water and crops are already in scarce supply, the population is expected to triple in size over the next 50 years.
Lack of resources and environmental destruction
Another challenge is the negative effect population growth has on the environment. Poverty forces many people to use existing natural resources and thus destroy their own basis of existence. A slower population growth rate could relieve some of the demographic pressure and buy more time to overcome these challenges facing the environment and natural resources.
Slowing population growth is therefore an important factor when considering sustainable development. The first UN population summits, which took place in Bucharest in 1974 and Mexico City in 1984, took into careful consideration how the international community should deal with those challenges associated with population growth, reaching most of their decisions on the basis of growth rates and population sizes.
The Cairo Programme of Action
It was at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, where these perspectives were finally put on file. 179 nations agreed to a Programme of Action, which placed a special focus on the right of the individual to sexual and reproductive health as part of its population policy. Since then, the Cairo consensus has become a charter, forming the basis for family planning, reproductive health and empowerment of women.
The Cairo Programme of Action calls for access for all people - including young people - to reliable and affordable contraception, as well as corresponding information and counseling services. Alongside family planning measures, the Programme also provides for obstetric care during pregnancy and childbirth, a reduction in newborn and child mortality and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, provision was made for the right of each couple to decide when and how many children they would like to have.
According to figures from the United Nations, providing modern forms of contraception to the 201 million women in developing countries who have no access to modern contraceptives, although they want to, would cost around 3.9 billion US dollars per year. Were this funding available, 52 million unwanted pregnancies could be avoided and more than 1.5 million lives could be saved each year.
Chronic lack of funding
In 1994, a sum of at least 18.5 billion dollars between 2000 and 2005 was given as an estimate of the funding required to implement the Cairo Programme of Action fully and effectively. Whereas the developing countries present agreed to foot two-thirds of the bill themselves, the developed countries promised to contribute 6.1 billion dollars a year. In reality however, these developed countries have provided just over half of the agreed amount - in 2003, the total amount given was a mere 3.1 billion dollars.
Furthermore, the political situation with regard to reproductive health has declined dramatically in the ten years since the Cairo pact was agreed upon. Whereby the USA under President Bill Clinton was one of the strongest advocates for sexual and reproductive health, the Bush Administration has adopted a fundamental opposition to the Cairo consensus.
The end of the Cairo Programme of Action?
The USA is backtracking on issues, which were to some extent already contentious in 1994. At the conference, many Arabic and Catholic-minded Latin American states, as well as the Vatican, refused to recognise the right of young people to sexual education and contraception. Other controversial issues surrounded the agreements relating to abortion. Although the Cairo Programme of Action categorically excludes abortion as a method of family planning, it does support medical treatment for those women who suffer from complications as a direct consequence of an illegal abortion.
At the last meeting of the UN Commission for Population and Development in April 2004, no further consensus was reached during negotiations on the Cairo Programme of Action, as some Islamic states had followed the same opposing line as the USA. On the other hand, however, most Latin American states voiced their support for the Cairo Programme of Action.
Abstinence instead of contraception
In line with the conservative domestic family policy, the current US Administration under Bush has adopted an ABC concept - Abstinence, Be faithful, use a Condom if necessary - with regard to contraception. Furthermore, sexual education of young people should take place at home.
Although the USA is alone in its attitude to sexual and reproductive health, its opposition has serious consequences for the continued implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action. As the largest donor nation for development projects in the field of reproductive health, the USA exerts a considerable influence on the direction development takes and is thus able to impose abstinence as one of the key programme components for all funding. Since George W. Bush came to power in 2001, almost all organisations abroad, which are in any way connected to abortion, even if they do not carry out abortions themselves, have had their funding stopped. Even the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has not been funded since then.
As a consequence, many family planning organisations cannot provide sufficient quantities of contraceptives. To this extent, the US government is actually achieving the opposite of what it set out to do - an increase in unwanted pregnancies, which endangers the health and lives of many women and children. Not only this, but an increase in the maternal mortality rate, an increase in HIV prevalence and a higher abortion rate is inevitable.
The German Foundation for World Population (DSW) informs politicians and the public in Germany and Europe about the importance of reproductive health and rights. Furthermore, DSW funds and supports education programmes for young people in Africa and Asia. DSW relies on donations to implement its work.
For further information, please look at: www.dsw-online.de
Thomas Crowe (translation)
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