The Science for Peace and Development Forum to Discuss Scientist’s Responsibility for Their Discoveries

To mark World Science Day for Peace and Development, Nizhny Novgorod, one of the largest nuclear industry centers in Russia, will host the International Science for Peace and Development Dialogue Forum, sponsored by the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.

The dialogue forum will take place on November 10 at the Mayak Academy. This event is part of Russia’s Year of Science and Technology. Russian and international speakers will address the forum both in person and online, discussing the importance of scientific research and discoveries in today’s world. The participants will also try to define the boundaries of scientists’ responsibility for their work.

The forum will be attended by 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner, climate change expert Rae Kwon Chung; mathematics professor from the University of Oxford Marcus du Sautoy; international infectious diseases expert Ravina Kullar; UK’s Astronomer Royal, Cambridge University professor Martin Rees, and many others. Rosatom’s Director General Aleksey Likhachev and President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev will be the forum’s special guests. Journalist, TV host and producer Sophie Shevardnadze is going to moderate the event.

The forum will have two main sections. During the first session, scientists and experts will talk about the ethics dimension – does science make the world a better place or does it pose new risks to society? The conversation will also focus on the extent of a scientist’s responsibility for their ideas and inventions. At the second session, the participants will discuss the issue of ownership – who holds the rights to scientific discoveries? Another important subject that the forum will cover is the success formula in science – is it found in competition or cooperation?

“Often discoveries are part of a larger context, for example, military or corporate, where ethical boundaries are often blurred or altogether neglected. It then becomes very hard for scientists to actually have control over what they discover or to decide how it will be used,” says theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser.

November 10 was chosen by the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO as the date for the International Science for Peace and Development Dialogue Forum, because it is World Science Day for Peace and Development, and it reminds us about the importance of new knowledge and discoveries in today’s world, as well as the necessity to have an open discussion with society, uncovering the challenges facing science right now.

“Climate crisis and Covid-19 pandemic is threatening our survival. Science has to come to the rescue of our future sustainability. The science of Economics has to focus on improving the quality of economic development by internalizing ecological and social value of natural and human resources into the market price in order to synergize ecological and social sustainability with the economic growth,” Rae Kwon Chung shared ahead of the forum.

UNESCO’s support highlights the significance of the International Dialogue Forum in Nizhny Novgorod. The mission of this respected intergovernmental organization is to foster communication between people, so they can learn more about each other and develop mutual understanding. The organizers of the forum at the Mayak Academy hope that they can contribute to the international community’s search for answers to important ethics questions and help make science more human-centered.

The dialogue forum will start at 4.16pm (Moscow time) at the Mayak Academy central studio in Nizhny Novgorod (11 Nizhnevolzhskaya Embankment). Live stream will be available in Russian and English, register at link.

Media accreditation required.

International Science for Peace and Development Dialogue Forum 4.16pm – 6.20pm
Closing statements for the media 6.20pm – 6.35pm

Venue: 11 Nizhnevolzhskaya Embankment, Nizhny Novgorod