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Uma Chowdhry at Davos: "Science and the Global Agenda"


DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Uma Chowdhry offered her perspectives on the importance of science in the formation of global policy during a discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week.

“The role of science is to inform the policymaking process, to help understand both benefits and risks, and to inform the limits of what is knowable, and what is possible,” Uma said. “Future progress requires a symbiotic relationship between science and policy in order to secure a lasting and sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come. Policy balances many societal interests. The role of science in this discourse should be to inform but not fully define that balance.”

Uma participated in a forum panel “Science and the Global Agenda” which considered the relationship between science and public policy, and outlined how science can inform policymaking in the future. The discussion addressed aging societies, climate change, disease eradication, nuclear non-proliferation and environmental degradation, and the important scientific dimensions that must be considered.

“The magnitude of the challenges that we are discussing requires major advances in our scientific knowledge and understanding,” Uma said. "Policy makers have the power to accelerate these advances by setting grand challenges to stimulate and direct scientific creativity; by providing targeted government funding to pursue these grand challenges; and, fostering science education and other programs that build the human scientific capital to assure the best minds are attracted to these areas.
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