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SciDevNet

The Science and Development Network aims to provide reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world. Their goal is to help both individuals and organizations in developing countries make informed decisions about how science and technology can improve economic and social development.


Website: http://www.scidev.net/


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Technology alone will not solve energy crisis
November 17, 2007 09:01 AM - , SciDevNet

There is a strong sense of déjà vu in the bleak picture that the International Energy Agency (IEA) –– sometimes described as "the rich world's energy watchdog" –– painted last week of likely global energy consumption over the next two decades, and its consequences for climate change.

In the early 1970s, open conflict between the Arab states and Israel set oil prices skyrocketing. Simultaneously, the Club of Rome and other organisations warned that the world risked running out of many key natural resources. Both led to widespread calls for massive investment in alternative renewable-energy sources, and for new, non-energy-intensive lifestyles.

Turning the brain drain from threat to opportunity
November 14, 2007 08:29 AM - , SciDevNet

Europe's recent bid to attract more skilled workers underlines developing countries' need for greater – not less – investment in their intellectual capital.

Listen to any developing country leader talk about the difficulties of building a knowledge-based economy, and chances are high that the brain drain will top their complaints. What is the point in investing in training cadres of scientists and engineers, they argue, if they immediately leave for better-paid jobs in the developed world?

Germany and India to enhance science alliance
October 31, 2007 01:59 PM - , SciDevNet

India and Germany have agreed to enhance scientific collaboration and networking, focusing on reducing the impact of climate change and developing clean energy technologies. Yesterday (30 Oct) the two countries committed €10 million (US$14.5 million) each over the next five years to set up a joint science and technology centre.

African Expert: Wary Farmers, Not climate Change Is Problem
October 29, 2007 02:02 PM - Henry Neondo, SciDevNet

Low crop yields in Africa is not due to climate change but rather farmers failing to exploit opportunities in wetter years, says a Kenya-based scientist. Peter Cooper, principal scientist for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Nairobi, argues that much of African society, particularly politicians and policy-makers, wrongly blames climate change for harvest irregularities.

Academies: We must address energy imbalance
October 22, 2007 02:23 PM - Jia Hepeng, SciDevNet

[BEIJING] An energy report released today (22 October) by the world's science academies has highlighted the need for sustainable energy projects to prioritise the basic energy needs of poor people.

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) — made up of 15 national science academies, including those from Brazil, China, India and the United States — stated in their report that the unequal distribution and use of energy between and within countries was a fundamental problem that the energy sector must address.

Germany Supporting Chilean Renewable Energy Efforts
October 22, 2007 02:09 PM - Paula Leighton, SciDevNet

Santigo, Chile - The German government has pledged up to US$126 million to fund Chilean research into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Chilean minister of energy, Marcelo Tokman, announced the agreement during an official visit to Berlin, Germany, this month.

A spokesperson for Chile's National Commission of Energy told SciDev.Net that the German government will donate US$11.5 million and lend up to US$114.5 million.

During the visit, Tokman also formally accepted an invitation for Chile to become one of the founder countries of the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

IRENA — an initiative led by Germany — aims to promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power, regenerative biomass, wave and tidal power worldwide.

It will also support national energy planning, research centres and technology transfer, especially from industrialised nations to developing countries.

 

 

 

 

Don't run for President, Mr Gore
October 18, 2007 12:36 PM - , SciDevNet

Last week's award of the Nobel peace prize signals the coming of age of the public communication of science.

There have been few more significant endorsements of the importance of science communication in bridging the gap between research and policy than the announcement last week that the 2007 Nobel Prize for peace is to be shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former US vice-president Al Gore.

India 'Lagging Behind' in Innovation Race
October 16, 2007 06:47 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

NEW DELHI - India is not realising its potential for innovation, warn experts, because its education and research institutes do not encourage a culture of experimentation and the exchange of ideas between disciplines.

Although India's potential is high, it is not nurturing innovation, Sri Krishna Joshi, scientist emeritus at India's National Physical Laboratory, told delegates at a conference on inventions and innovations in Delhi, India today (15 October).

India's education system "kills any spirit of innovation" by failing to close the gap between industry and academia, said S. Srinavasa Murthy, professor of electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.

Scientists create flood-resistant rice
October 12, 2007 05:50 PM - Imelda V. Abano, SciDevNet

Farmers should soon have access to a new strain of flood-resistant rice, say scientists.

The development was discussed at the 3rd steering committee meeting of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Hanoi, Vietnam last week (8–9 October).

A large portion of Asian rice land is located in deltas and low-lying areas that are at risk from flooding during the monsoon season, and climate change intensifies these risks, said Reiner Wassmann, coordinator of the Rice and Climate Change Consortium of IRRI.

Crop scientists estimate that annual flooding leads to losses worth US$1 billion across south and South-East Asia.

Vaccine-derived polio spreads in Nigeria
October 8, 2007 09:48 AM - , SciDevNet

Sixty-nine children in Nigeria have been partially paralysed after weakened viruses from polio vaccines were inadvertently transmitted to people in unvaccinated regions in the north of the country.

Festus Adu, director of the WHO's polio laboratory in Ibadan, Nigeria, told SciDev.Net that this polio outbreak is only appearing in areas where people are refusing to be vaccinated or where there is not enough oral polio vaccine.

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