The international organizing committee, appointed by the Council meeting in Witten in June, held its first meeting in Moscow on October 22 in the State University, which will be the venue of the congress. The committee confirmed the plans for organizing an international congress in Moscow on 27 - 29 June, 1996, under the working title "Scientists and Engineers for Sustainable Development." Moscow State University is likely to act as a co-organizer of the congress, provided INES takes over the main financial responsibility.
The outline program contains several symposia and workshops on various aspects of the relationships between science, engineering and sustainable development. INES project groups will be asked to organize several of these. The initial plenary session will set the stage for the workshops and symposia, and the final session will wind up the results of the congress and in addition present visions of the future as well as encouragement for the individual scientist or engineer. A round table discussion, a public event and a poster session are also to be included in the program. It is planned that INES working groups can use the day before the congress, June 26, for their meetings. A preliminary budget plan, which foresees travel support for 200 out of 500 participants, was discussed. First fundraising steps have already been taken, but the success of the congress will largely depend on the activity of INES projects, member organizations and individual embers in securing the necessary financial support for the congress. There is considerable room for initiative, ideas and activity from all INES supporters; no positive contribution is insignificant!
The next meeting of the international organizing committee will be held in Berlin on January 7, 1995.
Dr. G. Emde, an engineer who formerly worked in the German arms industry, has set up a new INES project "Ethics Protection Initiative", which works in cooperation with the Standing Committee on Ethical Questions. Dr. Emde acts as convener, and everyone interested is invited to contact him.
In the meantime, cooperation partners for the project have been found in Hungary (Dr. Z. Adonyi, Dr. L. Molnar and M. Endre, at the chair of philosophy, Technical University, Budapest). From the text of the proposal we quote:
Purpose of the Ethics Protections Initiative:
To offer help for persons acting in a responsible way, especially employees who suffer or fear reprisals because of their ethically motivated selfless efforts.
We are looking for partners in other countries to start a project there. The problem probably exists all over the world but varying in details due to different political and cultural conditions. In order to make progress an international coordination will be helpful.
Dr. Gunter Emde,
Seeoner Str. 17, Oberbrunn,
INES member Alexander Varshavsky (Moscow) has provided a moving contribution on the situation of scientists and engineers in Russia. His proposals on how foreign scientists can help their colleagues in Russia are summarized here:
I want to repeat once again: The deep crisis of science in Russia has a global impact and gives rise to huge losses to world science. Without its science the sustainable development of Russia as well as the stability all over the world is impossible. This crisis should not be allowed to continue!
Professor Alexander Varshavsky, Strategy Priorities Foundation Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, Russian Academy of Science
INES chairman Hartwig Spitzer adds: Please think for a moment whether you can offer help or cooperation. A first personal step could be the donation of (second-hand) scientific books. In this case, please contact A. Varshavsky directly, or the Network Office in order to discuss the transfer of such books.
The Peace Research Unit at the University of Kiel, Germany, and INES, supported by other organizations, are jointly organizing an international conference "Conversion in the Baltic Sea Region - Challenges and Prospects in East and West" at the University of Kiel on March 3 - 5, 1995. The conference aims at giving more detailed information on relevant aspects of conversion of the arms industry in the Baltic Sea Region, with special emphasis on the difficult conversion process within the "new democracies," taking into consideration the relation between conversion and the general process of transition in these countries.
For further information, contact:
Martin Grundmann, PFK, Uni Kiel, Kaiserstr. 2c, D-24143 Kiel,