Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Despite current economic climate Science moves forward Will USA provide leadership for a better world?

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One reason for maintaining my support for the free enterprise system despite the current economic crisis, which I blame on what I am calling uber-capitalism, is that I still see free enterprise as the best means of fueling innovation, including scientific innovation. That may be in part why SciDev.Net calls for the United States to take a lead role in advancing science as a means of addressing the challenges of the Millennium Development Goals.

SciDev.Net says that according to an editorial in Nature,science is on the rise. "Science and innovation continue to grow in developing countries, despite the current economic climate."

Science on the rise, despite current economic climate - SciDev.Net
  • According to a report published by TWAS, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, even smaller countries such as Chile, Malaysia, Rwanda and Vietnam are prioritising investment in higher education and technology.
  • Whereas countries borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were previously told to cut back on government spending, now there is talk of rebuilding and strengthening public institutions. And this is likely to be the case for both richer and poorer nations. Read more »
The same SciDev.Net makes the case that the world's poor deserve better US leadership. Not just more funding, but the vision of leadership. "The US election has implications for science and foreign aid policy, and so for the poorest people across the developing world."

Quotes: The world's poor deserve better US leadership - SciDev.Net
  • Enhancing efforts to tackle global poverty will be particularly important; not just by providing direct assistance like food aid, but also by helping poor countries improve their science and technology capacities.
  • The more that the United States becomes identified with such efforts, the less it will be accused of merely pursuing its own commercial and military interests. And the more that such countries generate sustainable economic growth, feed their people and create new jobs, the less they will become breeding grounds for fundamentalist-driven protest. Read more »
To do this the US science office must promote global collaboration according to SciDev.Net."The White House science office must boost science and technology for international cooperation on many fronts, says Rodney W. Nichols."

Quotes: US science office must promote global collaboration - SciDev.Net
  • In November 2008, a report from the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC (OSTP 2.0) outlined best practices for global responsibilities in the OSTP. These include: leading international S&T policy and activities in organisations such as the G8, World Bank, and all major bilateral and multilateral S&T initiatives; and working with the State Department and USAID, as well as other parts of the US government, to put S&T at the heart of development strategies.
  • In the United States, as in most developed countries, tight science budgets are subject to increasingly stringent tests to justify their contribution to national wealth or productivity — leading to international cooperation being seen as either "giving away knowledge" or a "humanitarian luxury". Such scepticism is unwarranted. A rising tide of international research collaboration — for example to develop safe and reliable nuclear power — will help lift all the national boats of economic development. Protectionism and hyper-nationalism are the enemies of the world's scientific progress. Almost all private companies — from General Electric to Microsoft, from Intel to Pfizer — realise that cross-national collaboration in research, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution is essential. It is time the government does too.

  • Modern research and development (R&D) toward socio-economic goals absolutely demand global links, and this need intensifies every day.
  • The government's next big hurdle is reforming the entire ensemble of US foreign aid, which totals almost US$25 billion, to infuse S&T into all goals aimed at improving the lives of people in the developing world. Read more »

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