Science Blueprint Is High on Ideals, Light on Details

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Science  09 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5425, pp. 174-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5425.174

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BUDAPEST-- After 6 days of sound and fury, the 1800 scientists, activists, and policy-makers who took part in last week's World Conference on Science departed with two documents that offer a sketchy roadmap for science in the 21st century. Despite the sometimes emotional debates, the conference's final documents managed to endorse the general concepts of ethics, equity, and access without offering up many specifics on how science should be conducted, funded, disseminated, or policed. The architects of the meeting, the first such gathering in 20 years, defended the final products--a nonbinding "Declaration on Science" and "Framework for Action"--as constructive blueprints that offer each nation a chance to build up its science.