up a global laboratory
Ellis Rubinstein, former editor of Science
magazine and one of the speakers at the FP6 launch conference,
is convinced of the need to pool resources in order to meet R&D
challenges of an increasingly global nature. In particular, he emphasises
the importance of encouraging the greater mobility of human resources.
Ellis Rubinstein stresses the global nature of the
scientific enterprise: "Increasingly, breakthroughs in the world
are being achieved by multinational teams, sometimes located in
a single facility or nation, but more often distributed in labs
worldwide." He identifies a number of priorities for research which
could be best addressed at a global level, including "increased
security in the face of terrorism and disease, the improvement of
the human condition through more abundant food, environmental health,
poverty-related disease, and so on". He also argues "for increased
joint efforts to approach scientific puzzles."
A valuable exchange
Rubinstein sees the mobility of human resources as
a key factor in ensuring the advancement of global science and advocates
"greater devotion to enhancing the mobility of young people, especially
in the sciences and engineering". In particular, he would like to
see measures aimed at encouraging the establishment of "rich bilateral
and multilateral programmes of co-operation" research.
He praises the EU's 'Mobility' programme and voices
his support for more direct collaborations to create practical career
guidance. "Europe has to compete in today's world and our global
society needs the energies and enthusiasm of Europe's best and brightest."
A rewarding step in this regard, Rubinstein notes, is the close
collaboration that has been forged between the team developing the
EC's planned 'Mobility Portal' and the editors of Science magazine's
popular website for postgraduates and early-career scientists, Next
Wave ( http://www.nextwave.org/).
Finally, Rubinstein draws attention to "the capacity
of developing nations to play increasingly important roles in the
global scientific enterprise". He illustrates this by pointing to
the fact that the internet is revolutionising access to the world's
best science for many developing countries.