World Summit on Sustainable Development
UNH Professor Speaking at Earth Summit Event in Johannesburg, South Africa
By Amy Seif
Communication and Information Coordinator
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
August 22, 2002
Editors/New Directors: Berrien Moore can be reached at 603-862-1766, August 22 and 23. Moore is the former chair of the Science Committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and one of the authors of the Amsterdam Declaration on Global Change.
DURHAM, N.H. -- Berrien Moore III, director of the Institute for the Study for Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire, will speak at a parallel event to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 27.
Moore will push for a new social contract between science and society to solve global environmental problems during his address at the Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development.
"Sustainable development has replaced the Cold War as our most critical global concern," Moore says. "As a consequence, we are challenged to create more sustainable technologies. To do this, we need to redevelop the relationships between science, technology and society."
Moore will illuminate "some very grave problems." His talk will address the challenges of poor countries trying to cope with broad-reaching environmental change -- such as global warming -- where traditional coping methods do not work. Water management and food production, according to Moore, are some of the most critical issues.
"You cannot have a sustainable society without there being within the country a vibrant scientific and technological infrastructure," Moore says. "Countries without this infrastructure don't have to fight that battle alone, but they cannot avoid that reality."
Moore's talk will emphasize that, while daily short-term challenges are of concern the long-term challenges -- such as population growth, water shortage, and unforseen climate change -- are greater. He will suggest that this new contract between science and society call for more participation from different segments of society.
Unlike the challenges of the Cold War, where problems of conflict were addressed through technologies and policy summits at the highest levels, the new approaches to the challenges of sustainability need to be more participatory and systematic, he says.
According to Moore, "there are no magic solutions, but there are paths to a more sustainable society worldwide. This is a global concern. I think this needs to happen right here in the United States. Right now the issue of sustainability is not that high on our social agenda."
The Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development is sponsored by the International Council of Scientific Unions, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, and the Third World Academy of Science. More information is available at http://www.icsu.org/wssd/index.html.