Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

The European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities

Article excerpt

International co-operation is founded on a network of daily contacts, exchanges and initiatives which create bonds of solidarity between men and women all over the world. In addition to the intergovernmental agencies of the United Nations system, hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) today form part of this network. These organizations exist thanks to the dedication of people with similar professional interests or common aims who wish to share their experience and combine their efforts. "Forum", a new feature launched this month, gives them an opportunity to talk about their activities. THE European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, founded in 1979, brings together eminent artists, scientists and writers who wish to contribute to the analysis of major world problems.

The Academy is a three-tiered institution. It has some 200 titular members, forty of whom are Nobel prizewinners, from fifty-five national academies spread over five continents. A similar number of corresponding members are chosen from among young people who are making an outstanding creative contribution to the arts and the sciences. The Academy is served by several committees, notably a committee of honour whose members include heads of state, government ministers, ambassadors and representatives of several intergovernmental organizations.

Ever since it was founded, the Academy has collaborated with Unesco. Initially it was agreed that an international symposium should be organized annual y in a European capital under the auspices of one or several national academies. The first symposium, on relations between the sciences, the arts and philosophy, was held in 1980 at Unesco Headquarters in Paris. Subsequent meetings were he d in Brussels, Lisbon, Stockholm, Uppsala, Bucharest, Paris, Rome, Sofia and Geneva.

Two particularly important meetings were a symposium on "The European Cultural and Scientific Community and its Role in NorthSouth Dialogue", held at Unesco in its fortieth anniversary year 1985), and a workshop on the theme of "Science, Culture and World Health" jointly organized by the World Health Organization, Unesco, and the European Academy, held at Geneva in 1 989 on the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Academy. An instrument of co-operation between the three organizations is being drawn up with a view to adopting a joint plan of action to strengthen the role of universities in the promotion of health.

Under the aegis of Unesco and the European Federation on AIDS Research, nine laboratories in Europe and North America are engaged in joint research on an AIDS vaccine, on improved treatment for those suffering from AIDS, and on the origins of the disease. This "Man against Viruses" group is chaired by Professor Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, whose team was responsible for identifying two of the AIDS viruses.

Together with Unesco, the French Ministry of Research and Technology and the Descartes Association, the Academy is currently preparing a workshop to study links between biological diversity and cultural diversity, Questions examined at the workshop will include the role of natural and artificial reserves, and the need to create gene banks for the preservation of certain varieties of maize, coffee and Sahelian plants.

In association with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, a seminar is being prepared for 1991 to foster the promotion of ethical, humanist and cultural values in education.

In 1992, to mark the five hundredth anniversary of the "Encounter between Two Worlds", America and Europe, the Academy and Unesco intend to organize a major workshop in Madrid on the importance of dialogue between cultures, a process which is often threatened by the rising tide of intolerance ethnic, nationalist, ideological or religious.

RAYMOND DAUDEL,

French scientist, is president of the

European Academy of Arts, Sciences

and Humanities and of the

international Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences. …

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