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The Impact of Science on Society : Bertrand Russell :
It is a FREE and modern web-browser which supports the latest web technologies offering you a cleaner and more secure browsing experience. Black swans are an ineluctable characteristic of social life. In a sense, all human action is an endeavor to manage the risks and conquer the uncertainty by greater knowledge and more effective social organization. But it is a never ending quest. For the very uncertainty in human systems which is the source of the ignorance and insecurity we seek to eliminate is also the source of new ideas, inspiring values, marvelous innovations, more abundant wealth and richer creative potential that are the product of evolving human consciousness.
Uncertainty is only another term for the Unknown or the Unknowable, which is our future destiny. Our evolutionary conception needs also to embrace this limitless, indefinable source of human potential. Session I: Human Capital. The session focused on the development of a human-centered economic theory that recognizes the key role of the Individual in social change. A Human Capital-intensive approach lays emphasis on original thinking, creativity and inventiveness, freedom and human rights, entrepreneurship, education, training and development of social networks and other social institutions Social Capital needed for the full development and expression of individual capacities.
Human centered theory counters the mechanistic and reductionist approach to social science with one that recognizes the unlimited potential of the human being. The initial presentation by Andrea Vacchi on dark matter served as an apt metaphor for the unexplored potentialities of human capacities waiting to be discovered and developed.
F. Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Ana Stavljenic Rukavina focused on the challenges of an aging society and stressed the relationship between economic growth, ageing and the decline of fertility and the resulting social consequences. Alberto Zucconi stressed the need for a systematic understanding of economics in its relationship to bio-psycho-social aspects of society and for the development of the types of intelligence needed to acquire the new competencies needed.
Session II: Full Employment. The employment challenge has become a global challenge of greatest importance that calls for a better understanding of the multiple factors affecting job creation and retention, such as trade and investment policies and practice, including outsourcing; demography, including changes in age structure and migrations; technological development, including Internet and ICT; governmental policies, including tax incentives, education and training; and finally environmental endowment, including resource depletion.
The first speaker — Azita Berar Awad — called for action to resolve the youth unemployment crisis spreading out around the world with 75 million of million young people being un-employed. She recommended a new concept of a policy package to resolve the problem based on the following five pillars:.
Pre-employment macroeconomic policies. Integration of still fragmented labor market. Encouragement policies for entrepreneurship and self-employment. Equal treatment gender, race, etc. Garry Jacobs appealed for abandoning conventional thinking that prevented us from full employment. He indicated that contrary to common beliefs, the global job growth was faster than explosive population growth since and the same long trend can be maintained in future.
To resolve the employment challenge, we need to move away from nation-centric theories and models toward human-centered global perspective complemented by new economic performance indicators showing the contribution of employment to human wealth. He argued further that vast unmet social needs combined with underutilized human and social capital set a solid foundation for moving toward full employment. For that reason, there is an urgent need to develop a new Social Theory of Full Employment. Mirjana Radovic-Markovic focused her presentation on a global problem of aging workforce, particularly increasing share of those over 50 years old from Europe through North America to Asia, particularly Japan and China.
Unfortunately, she discovered that those over 50 are often discriminated on that market, in governmental policies and by the existing stereotypes. It leads to human suffering and significant economic losses of unemployed experienced workforce. In order to avoid those negative consequences of age discrimination and establish equal opportunity rights for those over 50 she recommended that the existing economic theory of employment be revised and that her model of employment for aging people be followed, which will lead to full employment. The last speaker was Antonio Sfiligoj , who offered a practice-based collaborative entrepreneurial model of employment.
Coming out of existing Austrian, Dutch, German and Luxemburg experiences with full or almost full employment, he argued that the key is a new investment model in coaching entrepreneurs in newly created, small innovative firms, which are the most important for reaching full employment. He recommended utilizing crowdsourcing infrastructure for financing such innovative projects, in addition to financing from structural governmental funds, business angels and venture capital.
The discussion raised the role of institutional, including trade unions and policy factors, including easy and generous welfare benefits contributing to unemployment in developed economies. The current market structure with high concentration of financial institutions leads to overvaluation of financial assets particularly speculative capital hedge funds, future options and others derivatives , which often are low taxed and an undervaluation of human capital, which is usually highly taxed.
The technological factors affecting the labor market such as robotization, ITC and e-business were also mentioned. The Academy made significant progress at Trieste in advancing the discussion beyond the level of critiquing the deficiencies in current economic theories. It became clear that the current failures and apparent limitations of our economic system are the result of faulty, limiting dogma, which all too often passes for rational scientific theory. Therefore, the first requirement is a willingness to re-examine premises to determine whether they arise from inherited notions, power structures and prevailing values or from economic fundamentals.
Liberating our thought from past conventions is the most important step toward founding a true science of economics. Orio Giarini began by challenging several such premises, especially the notion of market equilibrium, which he described as a tautology rather than a real market phenomenon. He stressed that economy is in a constant process of evolution and the equilibrium dynamics could at most be applied to a particular moment in time.
Moreover, current economic doctrine evolved in the context of the Industrial Revolution when transactions involved discrete products sold at a specific point in space and time. Today, three-quarters of all transactions involve the delivery of services, most of which are consistent of vast delivery systems such as education and healthcare, where the cost incurred over the entire life cycle of the system often cannot be accurately known until long after the actual point of delivery.
This raises fundamental questions relating to the notion of economic value. Robert Hoffman pointed out that there is no intrinsic relationship between price and value. Value cannot be measured monetarily. Price is what we make. The market is particularly poor at capturing the value of natural resources and the value to future generations. In the modern knowledge-based service economy, the notion of value must be extended to take into account utilization value over time.
The boundaries of economics need to be extended in several directions to encompass new dimensions. First, the boundary between the monetarized and non-monetarized sectors is constantly shifting. We arbitrarily assign value to that alone which involves monetary exchange. Second, the boundary between politics and economics is purely arbitrary, for there would be no such thing as market were it not for the legal and regulatory framework within which exchange takes place.
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Third is the paradoxical boundary posed by uncertainty. Ostensibly, the role of economy is to manage risk and reduce uncertainty.
Yet, the uncertain is also the source of all human creativity, new invention, and future potential. Like the Internet, all future discovery and wealth creation will emerge from the uncharted unknown. Fourth, valid economic science must fully take into account the relationship between production, social welfare, ecology and ethics. The discussion focused on the need for a human-capital-intensive theory of economics.
Gerald Gutenschwager challenged the very notion of a separate science of economy. Finally, there was an overriding consensus that unlike physical science, social science must be goal-oriented and value-based. It is worth noting that Adam Smith considered himself a moral philosopher with a global perspective dedicated to promoting social welfare for all people and all nations. Financial systems are intended as a means to support the real economy and promote human welfare.
Graeme Maxton argued that speculative investment is unnecessary and destructive of the real economy. The laws of society are a question of choice, of values. We have to counter the inherent human tendency to create marvelous instruments such as money and markets and then enslave ourselves to our creations. Our task is not to discover immutable natural laws of society but to learn how to fashion society to meet social objectives.
Session IV: Revaluing Nature. The economic, ecological, social, political and security crises that humanity confronts today can be traced back to common factors and root causes and can only be successfully addressed by instituting fundamental changes in the values, policies and institutions that underpin the global economic system.
Addressing the multi-dimensional global crisis requires that we embrace an integral perspective which recognizes that the ecological crisis is driven by an inefficient economic system that grossly undervalues and underutilizes human capital. The WAAS project on New Economic Theory strives to develop a comprehensive perspective that calls for integrating sound ecological principles within the science of economics. The focus on monetary values must be broadened to reflect the full gamut of social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual values. The predominant use of economic rational decision making must be broadened to determine how variables such as culture, world beliefs, knowledge, information, social status, and the economic conditions etc.
Carlo Poloni highlighted the way economic values of achieving an environmental target are achieved through optimization exercises.
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Optimization techniques therefore can be used to inform the plurality of values and broaden the present hegemony of monetary use-values of nature. Appropriate value must also be assigned to what is now regarded as wastes generated by human activity. Dusan Bakos and Emo Chiellini reinforced the case for incorporating social and environmental values in social decision-making, illustrating how individuals make decisions to substitute plastics with biodegradable plastics. Decision making should be based on a systems perspective and cradle to cradle analysis spanning the whole production, recyclable and degradation process.
They also highlighted potential synergies in the form of co-benefits that might arise from producing biodegradable plastics that affect the value of bio-based plastics. In a similar manner, Stanislav Miertus analyzed the potential for substitution between fossil fuel and biofuels, factoring the potential environmental damage through climate change which a fossil-fuel based approach would have in comparison with a biofuels strategy. The session concluded that there are a plurality of values underpinning human behavior and activities with regard to nature.
Session V: The Network Society. Social Capital and Human Capital play complementary roles in social development. The session examined opportunities to utilize innovative organizational models and delivery systems in the industrial sector, collaborative entrepreneurship, understanding of climate systems, sustainable development in education, scientific research and governance along with some philosophical aspects of network behavior. The central problem in economics is efficient allocation of resources to meet the population needs.
In a presentation on Networking Science and Industrial Clusters, Zbigniew Bochniarz examined recent applications of network science to promote entrepreneurship and industrial development as an alternative to the two traditional competing models of coordination — self-regulating markets and centralized planning — which have failed to produce optimal efficiency for society as a whole. Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, specialized suppliers, service providers, firms in related industries, and associated institutions that cooperate and compete in particular fields.
More than a traditional supply chain, these clusters include academic institutions providing training, research and consulting services, governmental agencies influencing cluster activities, and non-governmental organizations providing important services. Today, the ability of firms to innovate is restricted by barriers limiting knowledge utilization and innovations. Antonio Sfiligoj discussed Collaborative Entrepreneurship, a holistic approach involving new models for business networks where firms act like organic ecosystems rather than traditional supply chain partners.
This new competitive strategy of continuous innovation fulfills the need for efficient provision of a constant stream of new products, services, and markets, especially important for countries such as Italy with a large number of SMEs and few larger corporations. In Europe, new legislation and policies are being adopted to foster the creation of collaborative entrepreneurial communities within which SMEs can share in the creation of wealth through innovation and growth.
At the same time, traditional financing through venture capital is being surpassed by new forms of informal investors, i. Networks dominate our lives. New scientific findings are now being applied to provide insights into the nature of evolution in economics, ecology, biology and medicine.
Climate change is already beginning to disrupt regional climate systems and has increased the frequency of disruptive extremes, threatening societal stability and imposing huge costs on our economies. To reduce the rising world energy demand, rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, rising average global temperatures and worsening air pollution, the OECD report recommends environmental taxes and emissions trading; valuing and pricing natural assets and ecosystem services. Self-organizing character of social networks is reflected in our technology networks.
Replicating the evolution of social networks by computer simulations enables us to better assess how to deal with the greatest challenges facing us in the next decades. Walther Zimmerli examined the impact of networks on the concept of the Individual in Social Philosophy and individual identity in modern society. Evolution is a chain with a network of chains with many missing links. Networks are decentralized or uncentralized self-organizing systems similar to the brain in which every node is capable of taking over the functioning of other nodes. Networks are enabling us to externalise our storage capacity of knowledge, so individuals need to know less but can do more than ever before.
As participants in huge social networks, we act both as nodes in the network and users of these nodes. As the virtual world expands, traditional sources of individual identity based on membership in groups, regions and countries are being replaced by multiple identities and increasing opportunities for universalism.
In his concluding remarks, Raoul Weiler pointed out that the Science of Networks has emerged in recent decades as part of a new set of knowledge tools with a very strong mathematical basis as excellently depicted in this Wikipedia diagram on Complexity. This science provides tools to analyze and quantify relationships between actors in different domains.
A new sociology is emerging, opening up new horizons for managing our society. It is an excellent example for networking us before the physical face-to-face meeting here. I agree with all of their criteria in identifying the excellence of a personality in whatever field: the capacity to transcend the limits of conventional thinking, to unify disparate phenomena, to understand the whole which is greater than the sum of its components; personalities able to perceive deeper levels of causality than the current conventional thinking, and to see opportunities where the canonic thinking sees nothing but risks; women and men endowed with the capacity to see life in its profundity and totality.
I am totally in agreement with the idea of a distinction, both moral and material, bestowed upon creative minds and personalities not yet recognized in their true dimension. Biologists and psychologists alike have concluded that seniors may not react as quickly as their younger contemporaries, and that their reactions are the result of a more complex process of thinking, using comparatively more networks of their brain, and a more reflexive mind. The old and wise are not to be in competition with the young and bold; they have to complete each other.
Life-long learning is a way of making a tool of progress out of longevity which much too often is perceived only as a burden for society, and as an obstacle to the advancement of the younger generation. Again, I have to agree most willingly to the main thesis of Professor Dobrowolski: life-long education is essential for a better quality of life, both for the individual and for the society.
As he so aptly writes, it is necessary to provide inter-generation integration based on life-long learning. Both question, with reason, the current paradigm of the formative process, striving for a new model of learning — a process which must be understood in the widest of its significations, defining the current paradigm, answers and certainty in contrast with a new one, dominated by questions and wonder.
Both interventions reach in fact a problem which bothers me a lot: how do we support the democratization of education at all levels without provoking at the same time its massification? The report on Assisting Developing Countries to develop their own scientific and industrial capabilities by Decio Ripandelli seems to be the exact antidote to massification. There is no magic wand to solve this range of problems, even if I think it is crucial for our time. I think, however, that we must start by changing our canons, by inventing new paradigms.
Education costs. Did anyone ever measure how much the lack of education may cost? I can say for sure that, for instance, the number of lives lost due to the early abandonment of school to juvenile delinquency, or just to boredom and frustration, cost the entire society a huge amount of money. How then can we speak of human achievement? And I strongly believe that, if we leave the current trend of massification to invade the whole world of our schools and universities, we shall lose forever all the benefit that the democratization of the educational process has offered humanity in the last two centuries.
This session addressed the broad issue of how to make available to industrial applications the existing large amount of scientific knowledge and technical innovations. The session also focused on the role of creativity and innovation as essential factors for economic development and how the available knowledge can be more effectively disseminated and utilized to effectively address current social problems. The world faces an unprecedented dilemma. Ever expanding opportunities are emerging side by side with ever intensifying problems. The proliferation of money, technology, education and global interdependence which have been the main drivers of global development are accompanied by rising levels of financial instability, pollution, unemployment, inequality, arms proliferation and social unrest.
Humanity seems driven by mutually exclusive, contradictory goals leading to apparently insoluble problems. Piecemeal sectoral solutions are transparently inadequate. Persistent poverty co-exists side by side with unprecedented prosperity. Rising levels of inequality and unemployment are spreading discontent and social unrest at a time when social welfare nets are overstrained by an aging population. The competition for scarce resources is aggravating nationalist competition at a time when international cooperation is essential for coping with common global challenges. Globalization is breaking down the barriers insulating national economies, making states increasing vulnerable to destabilizing impacts from beyond national borders.
Proliferation of nuclear and other weapons poses new threats to national and regional security. Today the world faces multiple crises of unprecedented scale and seriousness. These crises share common attributes. They all transcend narrow disciplinary boundaries, thus defying solution by partial, sectoral approaches.
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They are all global in nature and cannot be fully addressed without coordinated actions by the international community. Approaches to resolving the challenges are subject to conflicting claims, priorities and interests. The lack of significant progress on addressing these issues in recent years has raised doubts about the collective capacity of the human community to effectively address them. There is presently no consensus as to whether real, effective solutions are possible and what those solutions should be. Is there any way in which apparently mutually exclusive goals of prosperity, security, sustainability and social justice can all be realized?
Following up on recent articles on this topic in Cadmus Journal, an exploratory discussion was held on March 7 at Castle Duino near Trieste. The workshop began the process of inquiry into the following broad issues:. In an effort to incorporate multiple perspectives and generate an effective platform for future action, participants examined the first of these questions relating to important trends. Among many valuable insights, discussants identified limitations imposed by the present social construction of knowledge, i.
Stress was placed on the need for new thinking and new integrated, value-based theory in the social sciences. Uncertainty was identified as the source of both new challenges and new opportunities, reflecting a greater capacity for learning and growth, and underlining the need for efforts to unify the Sciences and Humanities. A culture of peace, global governance and shared values are essential for future progress of humanity.
Ecology must be viewed as an integral component of economics. It is necessary to integrate thinking on ecology, economics and ethics. The main challenge is transition to the new society in which past experience is no longer valid and technology plays a major role in a world driven by power and power of money.
Technological development has outpaced the development of institutions and culture. Technological advance is rapid. Cultural change is slow. The challenge is to make the right technological choices, to govern the development and use of technology, to accommodate to radical advances in technologies, and apply technologies through consensus to avoid misuse. The obstacles posed by the current system of international institutions founded on the principle of national sovereignty, the absence of institutional mechanisms for humanity to exercise legitimate rights, extreme inequalities and the challenge of balancing knowledge, ecology, economy, and ethics were also recognized as serious impediments.
Increasing mobility, greater social integration between cultures and ever improving communications will generate new opportunities. There are also signs of an emerging shift toward a human-capital-intensive theory and approach based on education that imparts both knowledge and a sense of responsibility and supports the full development and expression of the creative potentials of each individual.
Growing understanding of the science of networks is enhancing our capacity to leverage the power of social capital to promote human development. Solutions are unlikely to come from the nation-states. Real solutions are more likely to come from the NGOs representing global civil society and from individuals with global consciousness of the problems. The Castle Duino meeting will be followed by a workshop in Alexandria in June and further events in and Rapporteur: Alberto Zucconi Report. Rapporteur: Zbigniew Bochniarz Report. Rapporteur: Anantha Duraiappah Report.
Rapporteur: Enrico Tongiorgi Report. Panel 1. Creativity and innovation as essential factors for economic development. The World Academy of Art and Science is composed of individual Fellows from diverse cultures, nationalities, and intellectual disciplines, chosen for eminence in art, the natural and social sciences, and the humanities.
Established in by distinguished individuals concerned by the impact of the explosive growth of knowledge, its activities seek to address global issues related to the social consequences and policy implications of knowledge. The Academy serves as a forum for reflective scientists, artists, and scholars to discuss the vital problems of humankind independent of political boundaries or limits, whether spiritual or physical -- a forum where these problems can be discussed objectively, scientifically, globally, and free from vested interests or regional attachments, to arrive at solutions that affirm universal human rights and serve the interests of all humanity.
WAAS is founded on faith in the power of original and creative ideas -- Real Ideas with effective power -- to change the world. Its motto is "Leadership in thought that leads to action. The spirit of the Academy can be expressed in the words of Albert Einstein: "The creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind.
The World Academy of Art and Science is an association of committed individuals drawn from diverse cultures, nationalities, occupations and intellectual pursuits spanning the arts, humanities and sciences, conscious of the profound social consequences and policy implications of knowledge, and united by a common aspiration to address the urgent challenges and emerging opportunities confronting humanity today.
Our mission is to promote cross-disciplinary dialogue generative of original ideas and integrated perspectives that comprehend the root causes and effective remedies for our common problems, while furthering those currents of thought and social movement that affirm the value of human dignity and equitable development. The Academy dedicates itself to the pursuit of creative, catalytic ideas that can provide to present and future generations enlightened leadership in thought that leads to effective action.
The idea of founding an international association for exploring major concerns of humanity in a nongovernmental context grew out of many conversations that took place among leading scientists and intellectuals in the years following World War II. History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell.
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Add to basket. Being and Nothingness Jean-Paul Sartre. Distinction Pierre Bourdieu. The Order of Things Michel Foucault. Archaeology of Knowledge Michel Foucault. Understanding Media Marshall McLuhan.
A Secure Base John Bowlby. One-Dimensional Man Herbert Marcuse. The Road to Serfdom F. Writing and Difference Jacques Derrida. Gravity and Grace Simone Weil. Psychological Types Carl Jung. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Birth of the Clinic Michel Foucault. The Sovereignty of Good Iris Murdoch. Table of contents Foreword to the Routledge Classics edition. Science and Tradition 2. General Effects of Scientific Technique 3. Scientific Technique in Oligarchy 4. Democracy and Scientific Technique 5.
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