A World of IN FOCUS 2 Measuring progress towards knowledge societies NEWS 7 Keeping tabs on human genetic data 8 Africa vows to step up investment in R&D 9 Rebuilding Iraq 9s universities 9 Mondialogo challenges students to engineer a better world 10 Islam and Science author among UNESCO laureates INTERVIEW 10 Lídia Brito on NEPAD in general and Mozambique in particular HORIZONS 13 The floating university 17 Margaret 9s story IN BRIEF 19 Governing bodies 20 Diary 20 New releases The quiet revolution cience is not a global endeavour, alas. Just as the world has its info-rich and info-poor, so too it has its research-rich and research-poor. The digital divide is but a symptom of the scientific divide.
But after the economy and communication, could science, in turn, be globalizing? Caroline Wagner thinks so. A Research Fellow at RAND, a non-profit think tank, she is convinced that 8science is becoming a world system 9.
Wagner notes a 50% increase (to 15% of the total) in the number of articles being internationally co-authored in the ten years to 1997 3 still the early days of Internet 3 and calculates that the global network of scientific collaboration consisted of 128 core countries in ... more. less.
2000. One of the motors of broader international collaboration has been the development of ties between the diaspora and scientists at home, a process facilitated by the Web. Ana María Cetto wrote in UNESCO 9s World Science Report 1998 that an estimated 40 360% of all Argentinian, Chilean, Colombian and Peruvian researchers were working in industrialized countries 8where their work is recognized and valued 9.<br><br> In Africa, Bience Gawanas has just deplored, at the First NEPAD Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology (S&T), the haemorrhage of highly trained experts lost to the continent on account of poor working conditions. Decent working conditions demand sustained investment. It is thus gratifying that the NEPAD meeting should have vowed to raise spending on research and development to 1% of GDP 3 at least 3 by 2008, a level which would place Africa, in percentage terms, on a par with Central and Eastern Europe.<br><br> A quantum leap, in sum, if the promise can be realized; most of the world 9s least developed nations are Sub-Saharan. There does seem to be a growing awareness of the importance of S&T for development. A study by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in this issue reveals that the gap between developed and developing countries is gradually shrinking, albeit at a pedestrian pace with the notable exception of China and the Asian 8dragons 9.<br><br> Any global survey of S&T today is hampered by imprecise data for many countries. The UIS and UNESCO 9s science policy analysts are currently preparing a review of progress worldwide in developing-relevant S&T statistics and the difficulties countries encounter in collecting and interpreting such data. The ultimate goal is to build national statistical systems which are highly responsive to policy and information needs, with UNESCO facilitating this process through standard- setting and the gathering of cross-nationally harmonized data, in particular.<br><br> W. Erdelen Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences The floating university p. 13 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Natural Sciences Quarterly Newsletter Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1 January 3March 2004 IN THIS ISSUE EDITORIAL S There are, of course, huge discrepancies between countries and (sub-)regions in their approaches to building a knowledge society. The form this process takes differs greatly for instance between the rapidly growing economies of China, Brazil or the newly industrialized Asian economies (the 8dragons 9), on the one hand, and what we are seeing in many resource-based economies, on the other.<br><br> And while the need to follow this path does not go unnoticed in many of the poorer countries, the difficulties in jumping on the bandwagon are enormous and the process itself is sometimes perceived as only widening the gap between them and the richer countries of the world. Knowledge underpinning development is, of course, not equal to scientific knowledge. But no country will be able to achieve and durably maintain prosperity and a high quality of life without using the results of science and ensuring a well-educated population.<br><br> Similarly, equitable and sustainable development can only be achieved if all countries 3 and men and women everywhere 3 share in developing and using science. Measuring and monitoring progress Can we see the world 9s countries and regions moving towards knowledge societies? Can we measure and monitor this process?<br><br> And, conversely, can we interpret whatever information we collect on how countries invest in science and use it in terms of progress towards a knowledge society? There is a long tradition of collecting data on the efforts of public and private actors in science and technology (S&T), and of turning these data into indicators of a country 9s performance. We are used to trying to measure not only input 3 basically investment 3 in S&T, but also output: what do we get in return for our investment?<br><br> As we come to understand better how companies and societies benefit from S&T, there is a growing need for increasingly sophisticated, complex and broader indicators of the actual processes that lead to prosperity and quality of life. A very useful tool for both policy-making and public debate on a country 9s performance, for instance, are compound indicators that combine data on the creation and diffusion of knowledge, S&T performance and the 8productivity 9 of the economy, the education system and the information infrastructure. These are now being used in the European Union to give a bird 9s eye view of investment and performance in the 8knowledge 9 economy.<br><br> Even unsophisticated indicators, however, can identify very real trends in development. A snapshot of global investment in R&D today Here, we limit our world survey to a few straightforward indicators of input to research and development (R&D) in terms of human and financial investment. In 2001, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics published a report on The State of Science and Technology in the World 1996 31997.<br><br> An R&D survey conducted since then of UNESCO 9s Member States, combined with data taken from such international sources as the Latin American Network for S&T Indicators (RICYT), OECD, Eurostat and the World Bank, has enabled the Institute to update these figures to 2000 1 . The following analysis presents no more than a snapshot of emerging trends; a more in-depth study will be published in a forthcoming UNESCO report on science. IN FOCUS 2 Many of the challenges countries and regions of the world are facing in such areas as sustainable development, economic growth, health care, education and agricultural production are increasingly subsumed to a common denominator: developing knowledge societies and economies.<br><br> While the process towards knowledge societies is driven to a large extent by the industrialized countries, it is now widely recognized that 8catching up 9 in areas like those mentioned above depends crucially on each country acquiring, developing, managing and properly applying appropriate knowledge. Major factors underlying this trend are global institutions (such as the World Trade Organization, the various development banks and the United Nations system) and agreements, as well as the spread of information and communication technologies. Measuring progress towards knowledge societies Developing Countries 42% Developing Countries 28% World Population World GERD Developed Countries 58% Developed Countries 21% Developing Countries 20% Developing Countries 79% Developed Countries 72% Developed Countries 80% World Researchers World GDP Source: UIS estimates July 2003 Figure I World GDP, population and R&D resources in 2000 A World of SCIENCE , Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 Global gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) rose to an estimated $PPP 746 billion in 2000, up from $PPP 547 billion in 1997. The volume of R&D investment has increased in absolute terms nearly everywhere 3 if at varying rates 3 and in any event much faster than the stock of full-time equivalent (FTE) researchers, up by only 1.7% to just under 5.3 million over the same period.<br><br> Even if the general situation of the developing world remains far from satisfactory, there are signs that the gap may be closing little by little. Earlier UNESCO estimates had suggested that, in 1985, the developing countries represented as little as 12% of total researchers. By 1997, this figure had climbed to 28%, although it has stagnated since (Figure I).<br><br> Other gaps seem to be shrinking: between 1997 and 2000, the share of GDP of the developing countries increased by some 3% to approximately 42% and their share in world GERD rose from just under 16% to 20%. This compares with a population size of 79% of the world total in 2000, as opposed to slightly less than 78% in 1997 and 76% in 1985. Could the notions of developed and developing be blurring the picture?<br><br> The very notions of 8developed 9 and 8developing 9 are increasingly blurring the true picture. The positive developments are to a large extent concentrated in a few regions or even a few countries. And grouping some of the very low-income countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as 8developed 9 when Singapore, the Republic of Korea and the like are still 8developing 9 shows that statistically meaningful conclusions are better drawn at a more disaggregated level.<br><br> What one can say is that the share of the traditional 8big- spenders 9 on R&D, namely Europe, North America and Japan (the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) having slipped from this group) is diminishing as the circle of countries contributing considerably 3 and increasingly so 3 to GERD and R&D personnel widens. Even if we only discuss 8input 9 to R&D here, most of the commonly used 8output 9indicators (bibliometrics, patents, international high-tech trade) show a similar phenomenon. Emerging trends in financial investment in R&D Although there was a decline in the share of global GERD between 1997 and 2000 in North America (down from 38.2% to 37.7%), the European Union (down from 25.2% to 23.4%) and Japan (down from 15.2% to 13.2%), the triad still dominates world GERD (Figures II and III).<br><br> The only region to see its participation in world GERD progress is Asia; its share rose from 27.9% in 1997 to 30.5% three years later, a result all the more impressive in light of the downturn in Japan 9s own world share of GERD. If we dwell for a moment on Japan, it is interesting to note that, even if growth in expenditure on R&D levelled off during the period under study, it still progressed at a faster pace than the economy as a whole (GDP rising only slightly from $PPP 3000 billion to $PPP 3151 billion). As we have seen above, the increase in GERD (up to $PPP 99 billion from $PPP 83 billion) did not prevent a slight erosion in Japan 9s share of world GERD.<br><br> The rise in Asia 9s participation in GERD is explained by significant growth in the world shares of China (6.7% as compared to 3.9% in 1997) and the 8dragons 9(from 4.9% to 6.5%). These countries represent a dramatic progression in investment in R&D. In the case of China, the trend is accompanied by sustained strong economic growth, with 3 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.6 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.4 1.6 1.7 1.8 2.3 3.6 35.6 37.7 80.1 80.4 0.1 2.9 7.1 13.2 27.2 30.5 23.4 6.7 6.5 19.9 4.4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Arab States (in Asia) Community of Independent States (in Asia) Arab States in Africa Arab States (All) Argentina South Africa Sub-Saharan Countries (excl.<br><br> Arab-states) Africa Oceania Central & Eastern Europe Brazil Russian Federation India Community of Independent States (in Europe) Community of Independent States (All) Other Asia Latin America & Caribbean United Kingdom France Newly Industrialized Economies (in Asia) China Germany Japan Developing Countries European Union Europe Asia United States of America North America Developed Countries OECD Countries Figure III Shares of world GERD in 2000. By region/principal countries Asia 30.5% Africa 0.6 % Latin America & Caribbean 2.9% Oceania 1.1% Europe 27.2% North America 37.7% Source: UIS estimates July 2003 Source: UIS estimates July 2003 Figure II Shares of world GERD in 2000 By region A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No.<br><br> 1, January 3March 2004 GDP increasing from $PPP 3543 billion in 1997 to $PPP 5029 billion (still at current prices) only three years later. In comparison, GDP rose in the USA over the same period from $PPP 7511 billion to $PPP 8868 billion. The leap in GERD for China is equally spectacular: from $PPP 21 billion to $PPP 50 billion.<br><br> With $PPP 48 billion, the 8dragons 9 have now fallen slightly behind China in terms of R&D investment but this amount still represents a significant increase from just under $PPP 27 billion in 1997. The 8dragon 9 countries have managed to withstand the financial crisis of the late 1990s and chosen to increase massively investment in R&D, despite limited growth in GDP (from $PPP 2323 billion to $PPP 2866 billion). Turning to India, we find that its world share of GERD actually dropped slightly between 1997 and 2000, from 2.0% to 1.6%.<br><br> National investment in R&D (up from just under $PPP 11 billion to $PPP 12 billion) has indeed failed to keep pace with healthy growth in GDP (from $PPP 1530 billion to $PPP 2242 billion). However, this trend may be reversed in the next few years. The Government of India has since bolstered research spending and plans further increases (see Comparing financial resources ).<br><br> Within Europe, the Russian Federation 9s share is up to 1.4% from 1.0% and Central and Eastern Europe has progressed from 1.0% to 1.2%. The accession of 10 countries to the European Union in 2004, including Poland and Hungary, will naturally boost the European Union 9s world share. Latin America and the Caribbean, the all-African continent and Oceania still only make a modest contribution to world GERD and their roles appear in decline (from 3.1% to 2.9% in Latin America, from 1.3% to 1.1% in Oceania and from 0.7 to 0.6% in Africa).<br><br> In the Latin American and Caribbean group, about half the estimated R&D effort may be attributed to Brazil; for its part, South Africa accounts for broadly the same share as the remainder of the entire African continent. (In passing, it is interesting to note that the funding structure of South Africa differs little from the median for the OECD countries: national firms currently fund some 50% of South-African R&D, the government sector 33%, other national sources 10% and foreign funds the remainder.) Two groupings of countries span two continents. The Arab States stretch over parts of Africa and Asia, and the CIS 3 the former USSR 3 over Europe and Asia.<br><br> Whereas the Arab States 9already small contribution to world GERD has declined in relative terms from 0.4% to 0.2%, a small expansion is observed in the CIS, from 1.5% to 1.8%, essentially underpinned by the recovery of the Russian Federation after a decade of absolute decline or, at best, stagnation. Nearly 85% of overall Arab GERD was performed in the following seven countries in the late 1990s: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia, the fifteen remaining states of the Arab League together accounting for the remainder. Several of the most R&D-intensive Arab States are geographically situated on the African continent and their R&D is strongly supported by public finance.<br><br> In the past 10 315 years, R&D resources have seriously dropped in the countries of 8median Africa 9 and what little R&D is being performed there is essentially project-financed from abroad by international agencies, NGOs and, in exceptional cases, by industrial corporations. In 1997, nearly 85% of all R&D performed around the world could be credited to the Member countries of the OECD. This share had dropped to around 80% by 2000, a decline explained by the retreating shares of North America, the European Union and Japan.<br><br> Comparing financial resources GERD as a percentage of GDP is the most commonly used indicator for international comparisons and for defining national policies for S&T. High-income countries usually spend considerably more than 1.5% of GDP on R&D and even up to 3% in some cases, a figure which is now the European Union 9s policy target for 2010. Still higher ratios are observed in a number of much smaller economies, such as Israel (4.4%) and Sweden (3.8%).<br><br> India has set itself a target which would place it among the nations of the world which devote the greatest share of GDP to R&D: it plans A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 4 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.7 1.7 2.3 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 1.7 0.5 2.3 2.2 1.9 1.9 1.5 1.4 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 Arab States (in Asia) Arab States (All) Arab States in Africa Africa Community of Independent states (in Asia) Sub-Saharan Countries (excl.<br><br> Arab-states) Argentina India South Africa Latin America & Caribbean Developing Countries Community of Independent States (in Europe) Community of Independent States (All) Brazil Central & Eastern Europe Russian Federation China Other Asia Asia Oceania Europe Newly Industrialized Economies (in Asia) WORLD European Union United Kingdom France Developed Countries OECD Countries Germany North America United States of America Japan Source: UIS estimates July 2003 Figure IV GERD as a percentage of GDP in 2000 By region/principal countries IN FOCUS to hoist research spending to 2% of GDP by 2007, according to a national policy document published in 2003. Indicative of India 9s commitment, GERD had already climbed to 1.08% of GDP by 2002. In 2000, approximately 1.7% of world GDP was devoted to R&D, compared to 1.6% in 1997 (Figure IV).<br><br> The all- OECD ratio for 2000 was around 2.3% and that of the European Union approximately 1.9%, compared to 2.2% and 1.8% respectively in the previous analysis. Within the group of OECD countries, the median GERD/GDP ratio hovered around 1.8%, approximately the level of Canada. The great majority of countries around the world, however, still spend only a tiny fraction of GDP on R&D.<br><br> For most of these, the GERD/GDPratio was even smaller in 2000 than in 1997. There are winds of change in Africa, however, where governments recently reaffirmed their determination to raise spending on R&D to 1% of GDP (see p.8). Spending on R&D in Latin America and the Caribbean broadly represented some 0.6% of the region's GDP in 2000, an increase of one decimal point over the previous study, with a median intensity of around 0.27% (the level of Costa Rica).<br><br> Brazil reported the highest GERD/GDP ratio for Latin America (just under 0.9% in 1999), closely followed by Cuba (0.8%). The figure for Mexico, the region's only OECD member, was 0.4% in 1999. Be it north or south of the Sahara, Africa remains by far the least R&D-intensive of the continents.<br><br> Sub-Saharan Africa allocates only 0.3% of its resources to R&D, the most R&D-oriented country being South Africa (0.7%). The Arab States (in Africa and Asia combined) devote only 0.2% of their resources to R&D. This low figure merits a more detailed look to ascertain to what extent the overall Arab GDP is inflated by the values of important petroleum production figures (although not all the states concerned are oil producers).<br><br> In point of fact however, the presence of researchers from the Arab region, albeit negligible by international standards, is still about three times higher (0.6%) than the region 9s share of world GERD. Regional ratios are, of course, directly biased by the weight of the major countries (Brazil, South Africa, China, Japan, etc.), which can cloak the reality of other countries in the same region. Standing up to be counted There were some 87 6 research scientists and engineers (RSE) per million inhabitants worldwide in 2000, down from 985 in 1997.<br><br> This overall decline is explained by the rapid population growth in the developing countries, for which the number of RSE fell from 347 to 313 per million between 1997 and 2000. The indicator remains unchanged in the developed regions over the same period. We are seeing a very low presence of RSE in the Arab States and, above all, in Africa (Figure VI).<br><br> Japan is the most R&D-intensive of the major players in R&D, outstripping both the USA and the Russian Federation. Again, there are large disparities both between and within regions. Conditions that favour brain drain Expenses per researcher (Figure VII) in a country are composed of three elements: his/her own salary, the salaries of technical and support staff, and the average amount of capital and other expenses per researcher, with the total salary element typically representing more than half of the total 3 and often up to two-thirds or more 3 depending on the sector or the discipline of R&D.<br><br> The UIS figures for GERD per researcher in absolute terms, as well as relative to GDP per capita, suggest several important issues for governments wishing to build up effective and sustainable R&D systems in terms of salaries 5 38 51 78 124 143 169 251 289 309 313 552 554 591 876 930 1280 2399 2458 2458 2830 3016 3034 3109 3464 3904 4006 5206 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 Arab States (in Asia) Sub-Saharan countries (excl. Arab-States) Africa Arab-States (All) India Arab States in Africa Latin America & Caribbean Other Asia South Africa Developing Countries Asia China Newly Industrialized Economies (in Asia) WORLD Community of Independent States (in Asia) Central & Eastern Europe Oceania Europe European Union OECD Countries Community of Independent States (in Europe) Developed Countries Germany Russian Federation North America United States of America Japan Figure VI Researchers per million inhabitants in 2000 By region/principal countries Africa 1.2% Asia 38.5% Oceania 1.4% Europe 33.8% Latin America & Caribbean 2.4% North America 22.7% Source: UIS estimates July 2003 Figure V World researchers in 2000 By region A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No.<br><br> 1, January 3March 2004 Source: UIS estimates July 2003 and a proper working environment that provides access to capital equipment, instruments and other research facilities. What is certain is that countries which pay RSE low salaries 3 certainly in terms of GDP per capita when compared with other countries 3 are the first to fall victim to brain drain. A new phenomenon In a new twist, we are seeing the phenomenon of 8brain drain 9 not of people but of jobs: a Deloitte survey of 600 firms in Western Europe and North America in October 2003 3 , for example, shows that 14% of these firms have R&D activities in China, a figure that is expected to rise to 20% in three years 9 time.<br><br> This trend is reflected in the share of foreign expenditure in total Chinese R&D expenditure. It can reasonably be expected that private companies will increasingly set up research activities abroad, including in a wider spectrum of developing countries. This is not yet clearly visible from the current data but will no doubt show up in the future.<br><br> There 9s no turning back It is clear that the problems of collecting truly comparative data and making sense of them are huge for the many countries which play only a minor role in S&T. Yet the stakes are high. No single country has succeeded in achieving and sustaining high levels of prosperity and comfort without investing in S&T and exploiting them.<br><br> The effort therefore must be sustained. As we have seen in the foregoing, even the most straightforward of input data can offer a solid base for policy-making and point to very real trends in development. More often than not, alas, these trends are only too indicative of the snail 9s pace at which we are progressing towards the overall goal of equitable global development.<br><br> Gunnar Westholm 4 , Bertrand Tchatchoua 5 and Peter Tindemans 6 IN FOCUS 6 9 19 20 21 35 48 69 85 89 102 112 141 150 161 163 207 233 114 158 167 184 190 238 93 170 191 196 180 120 99 72 56 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 35 Community of Independent States (in Asia) Community of Independent States (All) Community of Independent States (in Europe) Russian Federation Arab States in Africa Arab States (All) Central & Eastern Europe China Africa India Other Asia Argentina Developing Countries Sub-Saharan Countries (excl. Arab-States) Asia Europe Oceania WORLD Japan Developed Countries Arab States (in Asia) South Africa Latin America & Caribbean United Kingdom European Union Newly Industrialized Economies (in Asia) Brazil OECD Countries France Germany North America United States of America Figure VII GERD per researcher in 2000 (in thousands $PPP) By region/principal countries 8Science is becoming a world system 9 Caroline Wagner, Research Fellow at the non-profit think tank RAND, notes a 50% increase in the number of articles being internationally co-authored in the ten years to 1997, henceforth 15% of the total. 'Science is becoming a world system', she claims.<br><br> All regions have developed their international collaboration, with the notable exception of the Middle East. As many as 50 countries could now be labelled 'scientifically proficient', according to Wagner, who estimates that the global network of scientific collaboration consisted of 128 core countries in 2000. Wagner made these observations in her paper entitled Can the Global Network of Science Contribute to Development?, presented to the IDRC-UNESCO meeting in April 2003 on Future Directions for National Reviews of Science, Technology and Innovation in Developing Countries .<br><br> For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: UIS estimates July 2003 1. Data for some countries may be for 1999. Similarly, data for 1997 may be for 1996 in some cases: www.unesco.org/uis 2.<br><br> Purchasing power parities 3. www.deloitte.com 4. UNESCO consultant, former OECD statistician 5.<br><br> Statistician at UIS 6. Science policy analyst, former OECD Megascience Forum Chair A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No.<br><br> 1, January 3March 2004 Keeping tabs on human genetic data Human genetic data tell us a great deal and promise to tell us much more. Yet, like many other aspects of the ongoing genetic revolution, they pose as many problems as they resolve. Many people fear they lend themselves to uses that are contrary to justice and civil liberties, and open the door to discrimination by employers, insurance companies and others.<br><br> The International Declaration on Human Genetic Data adopted by UNESCO 9s General Conference on 16 October addresses these concerns. By establishing ethical principles governing the collection, processing, storage and use of human genetic data, the Declaration should guide states in formulating national legislation and policies which respect human dignity and fundamental freedoms, while giving due consideration to freedom of thought and expression, including freedom of research. Collected from biological samples (blood, tissue, saliva, sperm, etc.), human genetic data are playing an increasingly important role in our lives.<br><br> They are already providing answers to questions asked by judges and police: proof of paternity, identity of a sex criminal or of an accident victim. To varying degrees, they are also answering medical questions: genetic tests can already predict such diseases as the degenerative, hereditary Huntington 9s chorea. Other, less conclusive tests 3 indicating only a predisposition 3 provide invaluable information for prevention.<br><br> Research based on human genetic data is extremely promising and likely to lead to more tests of increasing reliability, as well as to new approaches for understanding and treating innumerable diseases. As a result, human genetic data banks are multiplying. Given that today even the smallest hospitals possess, if not processed genetic data, at least a collection of DNA samples ready for processing, it is difficult to know how many banks exist.<br><br> The largest, of them have already gone beyond the mark of one million data. The trend is irreversible and entire countries 3 Iceland and Estonia soon, Latvia and Tonga thereafter 3 have decided to undertake a genetic census of their entire population. One issue is that of property.<br><br> Common sense suggests that my blood, my saliva, etc, belong to me. But do they no longer belong to me once they have been extracted from my body? Without claiming an absolute property right, do I not at least have a say in what use is made of my cells or a product derived from my cells?<br><br> Sometimes, this right is recognized: in the use of embryonic stem cells , certain legislations authorize research but demand the consent of the couple who, in the course of fertility treatments, provided one of their multiple embryos. It had become urgent to establish ethical guidelines. UNESCO, which had already drawn up the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights , adopted in 1997 3 therefore undertook the drafting of an international instrument on human genetic data through its International Bioethics Committee (IBC).<br><br> The Declaration adopted in October is the result of the IBC 9s deliberations but also of an extensive international consultation. Discussions on the Declaration 9s content continued right up until its adoption, to take into account the widest possible range of situations, including unequal scientific development but also more or less developed legislation in this domain. The option of a declaration, which is not a legally binding instrument, was chosen in favour of a convention to facilitate consensus and allow for adaptations in a domain where the variety of situations covered, and the complexity of the subject, is constantly evolving with new scientific discoveries.<br><br> The respect of international laws protecting human rights is the principal safeguard and a recurring theme evoked each time the Declaration allows exceptions or restrictions to the major principles it sets out. For example, the Declaration emphasizes at the collection stage, 8prior, free, informed and express consent, without inducement by financial or other personal gain 9 of the person providing the data. Limitations are possible but 8should only be prescribed for compelling reasons by domestic law, consistent with the international law of human rights. 9 The right to withdraw consent is affirmed, 8unless such data are irretrievably unlinked to an identifiable person. 9 The Declaration considers that data collected for one purpose should not be used for another purpose incompatible with the original consent.<br><br> When a husband gives a sperm sample to help police investigating his wife 9s rape, for example, he believes that the sample (used in a process of elimination) will be destroyed, along with the genetic data extracted from it. In many cases, he is wrong: the data end up in police files where suspects, non-suspects and even victims are thrown together, simply for technical reasons. 7 A World of SCIENCE , Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 ©Elena Kozlova, Moscow State University Strollers in Iceland 9s capital, Reykjavik. Iceland is one of several countries which have decided to undertake a genetic census of their entire population NEWS The key issue at the processing stage is confidentiality.<br><br> The Declaration stipulates that genetic data linked to an identifiable person may neither be disclosed nor made accessible to third parties, in particular employers, insurance companies, educational institutions and families, except for an important public interest reason in cases restrictively provided for by domestic law that is consistent with the international law of human rights. 8The privacy of an individual participating in a study using human genetic data, proteomic data or biological samples should be protected and the data should be treated as confidential, 9 states the text. On sharing benefits, the Declaration affirms, 8In accordance with domestic law or policy and international agreements, benefits resulting from the use of human genetic data, proteomic data or biological samples collected for medical and scientific research should be shared with society as a whole and the international community. 9 The Declaration proposes that independent, multidisciplinary and pluralist ethics committees be promoted and established at national, regional, local or institutional levels.<br><br> It also calls for bilateral and multilateral agreements to enable developing countries to build their capacity to share scientific information and generate knowledge concerning human genetic data. Pierre Gaillard 7 Read the Declaration at: www.unesco.org/shs/bioethics Africa vows to step up investment in R&D The Ministers of S&T of 20 African countries have reaffirmed their commitment to increasing public spending on R&D to at least 1% of GDP within five years. This endorsement is enshrined in the Declaration and Outline of A Plan of Action adopted by the First NEPAD Ministerial Conference on S&T in Johannesburg (South Africa) on 3 3 7 November.<br><br> Were the 1% target to be realized, it would constitute a mini-revolution for the African continent, where South Africa is currently the only country to devote as much as 0.7% of the public purse to R&D. The Conference was hosted by the NEPAD secretariat in collaboration with the South African Ministry of Art, Culture, Science and Technology, represented by the Minister, Dr Ben Ngubane. A Council of Ministers of S&T within NEPAD was established by the conference, of which Dr Ngubane was elected first President In his welcoming remarks, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, President of NEPAD 9s Steering Committee, described the objective of NEPAD 9s S&T initiative as being to lay the foundations of a continental forum which would develop a strategy and plan of action for S&T.<br><br> Such a plan, he said, would need to identify both projects and a calendar for their execution, as well as necessary actions at the national, regional and continental levels. Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO, applauded this approach. He urged NEPAD to make the African Ministerial Conference on S&T a permanent mechanism, in order to harmonize S&T policy both between countries and between the different sectors of the economy (industry, education, research, etc).<br><br> Recalling the high priority UNESCO accords NEPAD, he offered to work hand in hand with the NEPAD Secretariat to design and implement NEPAD 9s plan of action for S&T. One of the problems African scientists face is that of being cut off from the economic system. Ministers discussed ways of developing university 3industry partnerships, technology incubators, innovation hubs and the like.<br><br> In the Declaration , they undertake to promote a dialogue between stakeholders in S&T and to elaborate an appropriate regulatory and policy environment, including intellectual property protection, to encourage private investment in R&D. They also plan to develop and adopt common sets of indicators to benchmark their national and regional systems of innovation. The Outline of A Plan of Action is to serve as the basis for the elaboration of NEPAD 9s Commercial Project for S&T between now and November 2004.<br><br> Ministers resolve to build consensus and strategies to address concerns emerging with advances in new technologies, including biotechnology, nanotechnology and ICTs. They undertake to improve bilateral and multilateral co-operation and to put in place national and regional programmes promoting public understanding of S&T and their role in development. A World of SCIENCE , Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 8 Rural Zimbabwe in 1998. The NEPAD Declaration identifies food insecurity, malnutrition, homelessness, unemployment, lack of affordable energy sources and the fight against disease (especially HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) as priority areas for scientific research and technological innovation, the ultimate goals being to promote sustainable development and eradicate poverty 7.<br><br> UNESCO Bureau of public Information ©UNESCO / W. Horst NEWS They also undertake to improve enrolment levels and the standard of teaching in science, mathematics and engineering. Bience Gawanas, a lawyer and the African Union 9s Commissioner for Social Services, and Acting Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, pinpointed brain drain as a serious challenge for African countries.<br><br> The continent had lost a large number of highly trained experts in S&T, she said, and would need to tackle the problem of poor working conditions head-on if it wanted to retain talent. Regional centres of excellence are a key NEPAD strategy for staunching brain drain. They concentrate limited resources in a single centre which is then in a position to make world- class equipment and facilities available to scientists and engineers from all participating countries.<br><br> Professor Nkuhlu noted that the strategy was beginning to pay dividends. NEPAD had already attracted resources for S&T from development partners, he recalled, including C$ 30 million in funding only weeks earlier from the Canadian Fund for Africa for the International Livestock Research Institute headquartered in Nairobi (Kenya). The institute is set to become the first centre of excellence in the biological sciences to be supported by NEPAD, thereby enabling national agricultural institutions, including universities, to benefit from the centre 9s state-of-the-art facilities.<br><br> Canada is also providing a grant of 3,850,000 South African rands (approximately C$ 783,000) to support the NEPAD Secretariat via its International Development Research Centre. For further information: www.nepad.org: email@example.com, in Nairobi: Paul.Vitta@unesco.unon.org Rebuilding Iraq 9s universities A multi-million dollar initiative to rebuild and revitalize Iraq 9s once thriving universities was launched on 13 October in Doha (Qatar). The International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq is to provide both immediate and longer-term assistance, closely co-ordinated with Iraqi universities themselves to ensure that priority needs are the first to be addressed.<br><br> UNESCO 9s Director-General was in Doha to launch the fund together with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, First Lady of Qatar, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. Administered by UNESCO and governed by the Fund Directorate chaired by the Qatar Foundation, the Fund is open to all interested donors for contributions in cash or in kind. The state of Qatar has provided a first donation of US$ 15 million to the Fund.<br><br> Several other countries have expressed interest in participating in the initiative. After so many years of economic hardship, the impact of war-related damage on Iraqi universities has been devastating. While levels of damage vary widely across the country, enormous investment will be required to serve the needs of some 300,000 students from Iraq 9s 20 universities and 47 technical colleges and institutes.<br><br> The total cost of reconstruction and rehabilitation of higher education facilities is expected to top US$ 2 billion. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org Mondialogo challenges students to engineer a better world The Germano 3American automobile company DaimlerChrysler and UNESCO launched the Mondialogo Engineering Awards on 16 October to challenge young engineers and technologists to find solutions for a better world. Through the awards, Mondialogo will be looking for students who are keen to use their knowledge and expertise to improve living conditions durably in developing countries.<br><br> Students from over 6,000 universities in developed and developing countries will be encouraged to work together on sustainable development projects. Students are invited to focus their project on any one of the following themes: water supply, food production and processing, housing and shelter, sanitation and waste management, medicine and health care, energy development, transportation and mobility, communication, industry and manufacturing, development of natural resources, emergency and disaster response and reconstruction. An international jury will select the top entries and decide on the final attribution of the 20 Mondialogo Engineering Awards in March 2005, each of which carries a purse of ¬ 15,000.<br><br> To register for the Award and find a project partner: www.mondialogo.org 9 A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 ©UNESCO / D.Roger Medical students in Baghdad in better days.<br><br> This photograph dates from 1983 INTERVIEW Islam and Science author among UNESCO laureates Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is a passionate believer in the value of understanding science. He is also a nuclear and high-energy physics specialist at the Department of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, in Islamabad (Pakistan) and this year 9s winner of the Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. Professor Hoodbhoy is notably the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality (ZED Books, London, 1991).<br><br> He has also produced three major television series on science and a documentary film on Pakistan and India under the Nuclear Shadow. Professor Hoodbhoy was joined in Budapest on World Science Day for Peace and Development (10 November) by the recipients of five other UNESCO science prizes, at an award ceremony organized at the closing of the first World Science Forum (8 310 November). In Budapest, Antonio Peña Diaz was awarded UNESCO 9s Carlos J.<br><br> Finlay Prize for Microbiology. An active promoter of modern biophysical techniques in Mexico, Professor Peña Diaz has published books and newspaper articles on science policy. In 1994, he was appointed the first Emeritus Professor of the Cellular Physiology Institute, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).<br><br> The Javed Husain Prize for Young Scientists was awarded to Ravi Silva of Sri Lanka, Professor of Solid State Electronics at the University of Surrey (United Kingdom). Aged only 34, he leads the Large Area Electronics and Nanotechnology Research Group, which is part of the university 9s Advanced Technology Institute. He also recently set up a Nano- electronics Centre at the university.<br><br> The Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation was awarded jointly to the Venezuelan Centre for Ecology and to Norwegian biodiversity specialist Peter Johan Schei (see A World of Scienc e, Vol. 1, No. 5 for details).<br><br> The Institut Pasteur 3 UNESCO Medal was awarded to Fadila Boulahbal for her contribution to making the Algerian national programme against tuberculosis a success by creating a national network of tuberculosis laboratories. In 1970, Professor Boulahbal was made head of the Laboratory of Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria at the Pasteur Institute in Algiers. Thanks to her efforts, the laboratory became a WHO Collaborative Centre for tuberculosis in 1984.<br><br> The UNESCO Science Prize was awarded to Somchart Soponronnarit of Thailand for his research on renewable energy and drying technology. The award particularly recognizes his contribution to the creation of a fluidized bed paddy dryer and cyclonic rice husk furnace, as well as a recent 8heat pump dryer 9, which have been used and commercialized widely in Thailand and elsewhere. For further information: email@example.com A World of SCIENCE , Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 10 Lídia Brito On NEPAD in general and The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a programme of the African Union, which groups some 53 countries; NEPAD has been endorsed by the United Nations as the framework within which the international community should concentrate its efforts for Africa 9s development. Mozambique assumed the one-year Presidency of the African Union in July 2003.<br><br> Lídia Brito is Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology of Mozambique. Here, she speaks about the goals of NEPAD in general and Mozambique 9s own drive to develop S&T in particular. NEWS Lídia Brito What motivated the creation of NEPAD?<br><br> NEPAD was launched in 2001 as an initiative of leading African statesmen who believed that the time had come for Africa to address its development challenges by defining its own development agenda. It is a partnership at two levels. Internally, it includes all African nations which subscribe to this new agenda.<br><br> Externally, it is a partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, in particular those nations that control the means to help Africa uplift itself. Through NEPAD, Africa has been able to place itself prominently on the political agenda of the G8. The African Union is the successor of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).<br><br> The creation of the African Union in 2002 shows that the African leadership itself realizes itself that, in order to resolve the problems their peoples face, they have to create a united front, a power block not dissimilar to those other pan-continental blocks emerging in the Americas and in Europe. However, Africa is still far removed from the level of co-ordination and integration attained by the European Union for example. What bearing will Mozambique 9s Presidency of the African Union have on NEPAD 9s S&T agenda?<br><br> NEPAD and the African Union have different origins. Currently, NEPAD is a programme of the African Union under the latter 9s Assembly. NEPAD 9s Steering Committee consists of the personal representatives of the five initiating presidents (NDLR: of Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa).<br><br> Mozambique is not a member of this group. However, as President of the African Union, Mozambique is a member of the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSIC) that comprises three states per region of the African Union, as mandated by the OAU Summit of July 2001 and ratified by the African Union Summit of July 2002. The HSIC 9s main function is to set policies and priorities and define the Programme of Action.<br><br> The HSIC is expected to meet three times a year. It reports annually to the African Union Summit. The Steering Committee develops the Terms of Reference for identified programmes and projects, and oversees the NEPAD Secretariat, which co-ordinates implementation of projects and programmes approved by the HSIC.<br><br> Over the next year, how does Mozambique intend to define the S&T cluster within NEPAD? It is clear to us that a lot remains to be done with regard to the S&T agenda of NEPAD. We believe it is essential that NEPAD constitute a mechanism of synergy that will serve its individual members by integrating the scientists of different countries in regional and continental networks that enhance social relevance and scientific quality for the benefit of all involved.<br><br> These networks should not be exclusively academic but rather embedded in society so that they become part of hubs that speed up innovation in society in general. This is what Mozambique is defending in relation to a S&T agenda within NEPAD. The Council of Ministers approved Mozambique 9s S&T Policy on 22 July.<br><br> What are your priorities and the time-scale for realizing these? The Policy consists of an action plan covering four major areas: research, education, the productive sector and the communication, or dissemination, of S&T information and data. The action plan, as it stands, has a time-span of five years and a total budget of US$ 18.8 million.<br><br> The major slot, US$ 10 million, will go towards building a science museum network. At the moment, Mozambique has basically three small science museums: one on ethnology in Nampula in the North of the country, one on natural history in Maputo, the capital, and a third on geology, also in Maputo. As you can see, the network is restricted in scope and geography.<br><br> All have relatively old collections and are characterized by a classical museum approach. The Natural History Museum has regionally important collections but has had many difficulties in conserving these. Interactivity does not exist.<br><br> There are no museums to help people understand national traditional techniques or industrial technologies and no exhibits to acquaint people with modern technologies. Our strategy entails using the existing museums as a starting point by adding the interactive component, including virtual collections. Later on, we will proceed with creating other thematic science museums throughout the country.<br><br> The museums might be a flagship of the policy and even consume most of its budget but they are not its core. The policy is based on the assumption that each of the four components I mentioned earlier should be strengthened internally and that the interconnections between each of them should be improved. What does the plan foresee for formal education?<br><br> We need to build the capacity of schools to teach S&T at different levels, for instance through the microscience kits UNESCO has developed, in combination with actions that reinforce the pivotal role of schools in community development. One of the reasons why pupils drop out is that they consider the curriculum of little relevance to their daily life. The S&T policy wants to change this by dedicating US$ 500,000 in 2004 32005 to hooking up schools to rural and health extension services in such a way that these schools become motors of technological innovation.<br><br> 11 A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 Mozambique in particular Extension services should train and assist teachers in key areas such as nutrition, hygiene, health, agricultural production and basic industrial skills.<br><br> In turn, teachers should transfer this knowledge to the communities in which they work, either indirectly via the children or directly to their parents. The experiments conducted in Sofala province, in the centre of the country, indicate that teachers can exercise this role successfully, for instance by promoting improvements in nutritional habits. To take these experiments further is a key innovation in Mozambique 9s approach to education and the relation between education and community development.<br><br> You spoke earlier of the need to enhance the social relevance and quality of R&D? How do you plan to translate this objective at the national level? The S&T policy also intends to reinforce the national scientific research system and its relations with the rest of society.<br><br> For that reason, the government wants to create stakeholder-managed competitive funds worth a total of just over US$ 4.1 million in at least four priority areas to be defined following an assessment by major national stakeholders, bearing in mind our country 9s position in the region, its options for development and the needs of its population. Within this system, sectoral scientific councils composed of scientists and research clients from civil society and the productive sector will allocate funds through a bidding process. In this way, we hope to achieve two things simultaneously.<br><br> Firstly, those in need of the application will be able to influence the research agenda. This will make science more relevant to economic growth and poverty alleviation. Secondly, competition will force scientists to improve the quality of their work.<br><br> Although the increasing rate of authorship of international scientific publications shows that Mozambique 9s scientists are producing scientifically acceptable results, international competition is getting stronger. In a context of integration at different levels 3 regional through the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and continental through NEPAD and the African Union 3 Mozambique will have to achieve at least the same level of excellence as its neighbours, although the resources at our disposal are far fewer than those of most of them. Won 9t Mozambique 9s limited resources make it difficult to disseminate S&T information to rural areas?<br><br> I have already mentioned that one action in the area of dissemination, concerns the revitalization and expansion of the national museum network. The plan also devotes US$1 million to supporting community radio programmes and on markets. Technological innovation depends on the availability of information and on market conditions.<br><br> Community radios can play a key role in both fields, especially as their penetration is much deeper than other means of communication and independent of, for example, the conditions of roads 3 during the rainy season, when agriculture is most intensive, many roads are inaccessible. Moreover, community radios use local languages. Radio programmes, for instance, can transmit information on technologies for plant protection or on new tools, provide weather forecasts, etc.<br><br> And they can disseminate market information. This is important because, independently of the scale of his or her production, a producer will only invest time, effort and money when he or she has minimal guarantees of a return on that investment. Market information, therefore, is crucial to the success of technological innovation, as it will make the market more transparent and strengthen the position of producers in their negotiations with traders.<br><br> Does this action plan imply a greater allocation of financial resources to S&T than previously? Mozambique is a poor country. Despite that, the total budget for research equals 0.6% of GDP and a further 6.5% goes to education.<br><br> The level of investment proposed by the S&T policy requires additional inputs for which we are, unfortunately, highly dependent on donors. Thus, in the end it will not only depend upon us, the Government of Mozambique, but also on our international partners, which components we will be able to implement when and to what extent. Last but not least, what are Mozambique 9s plans for celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development on 10 November?<br><br> Mozambique celebrated the first World Science Day last year. At the time, we wove several provincial and national initiatives into a single nationwide programme. This year, we are organizing a science fair.<br><br> At the fair, over 40 Mozambican scientists will show samples of their output at a session illustrated by more than 100 posters. There will also be presentations, debates and roundtables on different topics related to science, research and development. This will be combined with a trade fair where various research entities will have a chance to display their activities.<br><br> The trade fair will also involve the participation of enterprises exhibiting the S&T component of their work. The entire event will take place on the commercial fairgrounds in Maputo. In this way, we hope to take science to the public.<br><br> We had hoped to be able to use World Science Day as a platform for relaunching the Maths-by-Internet competition on a national scale. However, for various reasons, we have been unable to finalize the programme in time. Now we hope to launch the competition in February.<br><br> Interview by Susan Schneegans and Folar Osotimehin INTERVIEW A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 12 HORIZONS Over the past 13 summers, more than 600 undergraduate and post-graduate students from 25 countries have taken part in cruises like this one.<br><br> Under the guidance of senior scientists from international academic, governmental and industrial backgrounds, students conduct cutting-edge marine research in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and in the North Atlantic Ocean. Many will go on to become research leaders. The Training 3through 3Research programme was launched in 1991 by UNESCO and the European Science Foundation.<br><br> For the past eight years, it has been sponsored by UNESCO 9s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). What makes it different from other on-the-job training exercises is that students go through the entire cycle: from being provided with knowledge on the subject of their research to data collection, laboratory analyses and, ultimately, the presentation and publication of the research results. The UNESCO Chair in Marine Geosciences at Moscow State University serves as the programme 9s training arm.<br><br> In addition to providing students with advanced training in marine science, the programme contributes to knowledge of ocean margins, a new frontier where many exciting discoveries have been made over the past decade or so. Living on the edge The 8floating university 9 conducts research in a zone which marks the transition between land and the deep sea, the 8ocean margin. 9This zone may vary from one hundred to several hundred kilometres in width, depending on the morphology of the seabed. Ocean margins harbour most of the world 9s marine biodiversity, making them crucial for fisheries.<br><br> Yet many of the ecosystems at the ocean margin are poorly known. Take the deep-sea, cold-water coral reefs for example, which are found at depths of several hundred metres to 1 km; able to do without sunlight (photosynthesis), they rely on chemosynthesis for their life energy. Researchers only now acknowledge the existence of the Great European Barrier Reef, which occupies the frontier between the outer shelf and the deep sea.<br><br> The ocean margins are home to myriads of microbes and bacteria which use fluids originating from the geosphere (geofluids) as the source of chemical energy in their life cycle. Resent research has shown that these micro-organisms are 8housekeepers 9 of the Earth 9s climate. On the seabed, they consume most of the methane and other hydrocarbon gases rising from the geosphere through the hydrosphere into the atmosphere, thereby limiting any rise in the Earth 9s temperature.<br><br> But the amount of 8greenhouse gases 9 escaping into the atmosphere is now reaching inacceptable limits: air pollution in Europe soared to new heights last summer. According to the WMO, the summer of 2003 was yet another On 20 September 2003, the Professor Logachev berthed in St Petersburg (Russia) harbour at the end of a Sub-Arctic research cruise that had taken it to ports of call in Copenhagen (Denmark), Tromsø (Norway), Reykjavik (Iceland), Nuuk (Greenland) and Dublin (Ireland). The students and senior scientists who disembarked here had just spent ten weeks studying the deep sea with the help of sophisticated acoustic and televisual imaging equipment and samples taken from the seabed.<br><br> The floating university 13 A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 14 climatic anomaly and the hottest in the 143 years for which records have been kept.<br><br> Glacier records tell the same story. In the pre-industrial world, atmospheric CO 2 concentrations oscillated on roughly 100,000-year cycles between 180 parts per million by volume (ppmv) during glacial periods and 280ppmv during the warmer interglacial periods. We are today at an unprecedented 370 ppmv and this is showing signs of rising.<br><br> Ocean margins are attracting increasingly intense interest from researchers and industry. Little over a decade ago, it was discovered that they contain huge, largely untold reserves of energy sources like methane gas. At this stage, we still do not know the true extent of these energy resources, nor even whether it will be possible to exploit them commercially in the near future.<br><br> It is also at the ocean margins that you find the recently discovered carbonate mounds. These 8rolling hills 9 may be 200 3300 m high. Some researchers believe that carbonate mounds act as natural beacons, pinpointing the spot where hydrocarbons lie buried beneath the surface.<br><br> Others are less categorical; they point to the fact that carbonate mounds are the result of microbial activity which disintegrates hydrocarbon gases and accumulates carbonates. These same carbonate mounds may also be found in mountainous areas on land which were originally under the sea. On land, the mounds are known to geologists as 8stromatolites 9, one of the oldest indications of life on Earth.<br><br> Ocean margins provide an important record of global change on various temporal and spatial scales. In recognition of their specific role, the European Commission has established the Ocean Margin Deep-water Research Consortium, which overseas a dozen projects studying European margins. The mysterious past and uncertain future of gas hydrates By some estimates, methane in gas hydrates has an energy potential equivalent to twice the known reserves of oil, coal and gas combined.<br><br> Reserves of methane seem to be abundant at the ocean margins in many parts of the world, including Alaska, Antarctica, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico and the USA. The Training 3through 3Research programme was among the first to begin a detailed investigation of this phenomenon on the European Margin. Methane is stored as a 8gas hydrate 9 trapped inside frozen water molecules.<br><br> Under certain conditions 3 combining low temperatures and high-pressure on the seabed 3, gas hydrates will solidify, forming what look like jagged rocks. Gas hydrates are notoriously unstable. When sudden changes in sea level, underwater earthquakes, landslides or other geohazards change the pressure and/or temperature, gas hydrates evaporate quickly.<br><br> This prompts the release of an immense volume of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere 3 methane is a greenhouse gas ten times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It is thought that massive releases of methane in the distant past could have accelerated global warming and precipitated the end of the last ice age. This is one reason why the Training 3through 3Research programme is interested in geohazards.<br><br> ©Elena Kozlova, Moscow State University Deep-sea corals live in water of approximately 4°C. If deep- water coral reefs are valued today for their ability to absorb hydrocarbon gases and nourish fish populations, they were long neglected and have been decimated in recent decades by large-scale trawling. Known at the Norwegian margins as early as the 18th century, deep-sea corals only began attracting attention in the 1990s with the advent of oil exploration at ocean margins, in parallel to growing understanding of the need to protect the ecosystems of the high seas Students lose no time in measuring gas hydrates once they have been brought to the surface because these 8disappear into thin air 9 within seconds unless put in a freezer for further analysis A World of SCIENCE , Vol.<br><br> 2, No. 1, January 3March 2004 HORIZONS ©Elena Kozlova, Moscow State University ©Elena Kozlova, Moscow State University Students on board the Professor Logachev studying carbonate chimneys recovered from the Gulf of Cadiz 15 A World of SCIENCE , Vol. 2, No.<br><br> 1, January 3March 2004 At present, it is not technically feasible to exploit gas hydrates on a large scale. There are also concerns that deep-sea exploitation of hydrates could destabilize the ocean floor and release large volumes of methane into the atmosphere. The potential of mud volcanoes for oil exploration Mud volcanoes are another focus of the Training 3 through 3 Research programme.<br><br> These exist both on land and at sea. Tectonic movements within the Earth 9s crust build up pressure. When this pressure becomes too intense, deeply buried mud bursts through the upper layers of the sedimentary cover, transporting fragments of deep-seated rocks and hydrocarbon gases.<br><br> In the ocean, these fragments settle on the seabed. Studying them provides key insights into an area 9s geological history. Certain fragments may even contain organic matter indicative of the area 9s hydrocarbon potential.<br><br> As early as 1991, the Training 3 through 3 Research programme discovered the first mud volcanoes in the Black Sea. Many others have since been discovered and studied along the European and African margins in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Coming to grips with an underwater world The Training 3through 3Research programme focuses on emerging global issues.<br><br> In the area of oil exploration, research seeks to determine the source of geofluids and the level of maturity of organic matter located in deep-formed hydrocarbons. Scientists then attempt to develop palaeo- environmental reconstructions based on palaeontological and other records. A wide range of interdisciplinary research methods are used encompassing the geophysical and the biogeochemical.<br><br> The collected data serve to assess the ocean margins 9petroleum potential. Several special issues of international scientific journals and a wealth of research articles on geofluids, gas hydrates, carbonate mounds, geohazards and sand bodies (the latter represent potential reservoirs for hydrocarbon deposits) at ocean margins have been published by participants in the research cruises since 1991, most of these co-authored by students. Meeting the costs of deep-sea research Deep-sea research is a costly business.<br><br> The secret of the programme 9s success lies in co-funding involving research groups from many European countries. Notably, Russia