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ICSU/CODATA launch online forum for World Summit on the Information Society

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) today launched an ‘open access’ online forum to generate discussion from the international science and technology community in the lead-up to the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

PARIS, France – “The overall aim of the forum is to solicit input from all sectors of the S&T community,” says Dr.Carthage Smith, ICSU Deputy Director. “Ultimately, we’ll use that information to engage in dialogue with other stakeholders in the information society, including governments, business and industry, and civil society.”

The forum, which can be accessed from the ICSU home page (, is organized along four themes:

  • Scientific data and information for decision-making and better governance
  • Ensuring universal access to scientific knowledge internationally
  • Scientific data and information as a global public good
  • Using Scientific data and information to improve all levels of education and training

To initiate discussion, an informal background paper outlining issues related to each theme has already been posted. Participants are invited to respond to the initial Topic, or to generate new topics under one of the existing themes.

The forum will be moderated by Subhash Kuvelker, president of Kuvelker Associates and of Kuvelker Law Firm. Mr. Kuvelker previously served as manager of the Advanced Technology Program of the US Government, and is now a consultant in projects involving science, technology, economics, and law to the National Academies and other organisations.

The forum will remain active until Friday, 28 February 2003, after which the information will remain available for reference. The information collected will feed into a joint ICSU/CODATA/UNESCO workshop on 12 March 2003 (Paris), in which experts from the international S&T community will collectively distil key messages. A brief summary document for each theme will be made available in print and online, and will be widely disseminated amongst WSIS stakeholders.

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