Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Science in an International and Humanitarian Context"

Read the full article by Lynn Dicks from last December in Science Careers.

"Natarajan Ishwaran, director of the UNESCO Ecology and Earth Sciences division, says that the first UNESCO director-general, the distinguished zoologist Julian Huxley, fought hard to put science on UNESCO's agenda. Today, UNESCO spends one-seventh of its $610 million budget on science and employs about 200 scientists. About half of them are based at the Paris headquarters; the rest work in one of five regional and 51 field offices around the world. The job of these scientists is to co-ordinate international efforts between researchers and the public, the media, and international governments. "We are brokers," says Ishwaran, "between science and everything else."

UNESCO is keen to recruit young scientists, and those hoping to swap research for a career in intergovernmental work will find some opportunities there--provided they are not looking for too much job security."

"UNESCO considers itself a laboratory of ideas, so you have to be able to anticipate new concepts" and get diverse groups of people to develop a shared vision, says UNESCO professional Meriem Bouamrane.

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