Globalization and Science

by Claudio Tiribelli, MD PhD
Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, Trieste, Italy

Science is by definition a discipline without borders and this is the real meaning of University, i.e. a place where the universe is discussed and learned. Ideas need to circulate freely as well as scientists need to get together and interact as much as possible. Cyberworld has simplified communication among persons, scientist being no exception. However, though e-mail, videoconference and net meetings may provide a nice daily mean to interact, the need for a face-to-face discussion is still pivotal in the development of scientific issues and most important, to lay the bases for interaction, cooperation and joint development. Unfortunately cost of traveling added to a certain insecurity of moving abroad, tend to reduce this possibility. It you add that the cost of moving must be defrayed from the grants, it is to understand how difficult is to move abroad, for young and less young scientists. Sponsoring is useful but, unfortunately, may somehow reduce the freedom of science. It is therefore crucial that different, no profit organizations should cover the expenses involved with the circulation of ideas by providing ad hoc, educational, non restricted grants to allow gathering of free and science-oriented minds. Around a table it will be possible to confront different ideas and scientific approaches, reconcile potential scientific conflict, define common strategies and most important, share experiences based on different approaches. This is what globalization in science is about, at least in my opinion.

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