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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran 15 Summary of Open Forum YOUSEF SOBOUTI Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Science Yousef Sobouti: This morning I requested that we write down very short summaries of the presentations. These short paragraphs will remind us of the issues and will be stimulants for this forum. I will invite comments and remarks from the floor. SUMMARY OF FORMER PRESIDENT MOHAMMAD KHATAMI’S PRESENTATION: WHERE DOES SCIENCE GO? Cultural, scientific, technological, and other intellectual relations between the nations of the east and west are not symmetrical and are polarized. This hinders the process of understanding. Comments Glenn Schweitzer: He commented that scientists are simply one extension of society. So when you talk about the role of scientists, you have to talk about the role of society. His point was that ethics are important for the entire society and that ethics will spread through scientists.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran His second issue had to do with violence supported on the basis of religion. Violence that is justified on the basis of religion—Islam, Christianity, or any other religion—is very bad. The attitude of some leaders all over the world that he cited was, “If you are not with us, we can do what we want to you.” His final point was that you have to replace violence with love. That was his philosophical point. In the third issue on U.S.-Iranian relations, he made the point that the problem is much bigger than bilateral relationships and must be viewed within the entire global system which has developed. He characterized the systemic problem as the developed versus the developing world. This was the same point that was made in the newspaper this morning. He argued, understandably, that dialogue is the solution. But it must be based on fairness, equality, and justice. Whether you agree with that or not, it is important that we try to capture this idea in the proceedings. Ferenc Szidarovszky: President Khatami made the important point, “If you don’t have security in one place, you don’t have security anywhere.” Sobouti: Yes, this point is to be emphasized. SUMMARY OF WILLIAM WULF’S PRESENTATION: THE INNOVATION ECOLOGY Solving many of the world’s problems—such as climate change—will require innovation of new technologies. Unfortunately the ecology of laws, regulations, and institutions that support innovation were invented for technologies of the past and do not support current and future technologies well. We need an international process to rethink the elements of this ecology.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran Comments Etienne Guyon: I was impressed by the associations that Professor Wulf described among the Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine by saying that we should involve all of them in a given process. I was struck by his “Pasteur’s Quadrant,” saying that science and technology in developed and developing countries have to work hand-in-hand and not as separate entities in order to achieve a better world. SUMMARY OF MOSTAFA MOHAGHEH DAMAD’S PRESENTATION: WISDOM: THE BEST GATEWAY TO UNDERSTANDING I would like to make a distinction between the two words science and wisdom. I interpret hikma in Arabic to mean wisdom, but I am not sure whether it is used in the same sense in the western world. The best gateway to understanding is hikma, not science. Science, devoid of spirituality, sometimes enhances man’s arrogance and ego. On the other hand, hikma encompasses both ethics and education. Comments Schweitzer: I had difficulty understanding Professor Damad’s presentation on wisdom, which was very important. So I had a private conversation with him, and he explained that what he meant by wisdom includes four aspects: Spirituality Ethics Education Understanding the relationship between humans and the universe, which includes science
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran Mehdi Bahadori: I suppose a wise man is a person who has wisdom. In Christian epics, you have the birth of Jesus and the three wise men from the east who came to him. They followed the stars to Bethlehem. What is meant by wise men here? Are they scientists? Who are they? Norman Neureiter: To me they were the three leaders of those countries. Sometimes, they are called the Three Kings from the Orient. They are translated as kings, not just wise men. So you think of them as wise leaders, not necessarily scientists, with no analysis of the word wisdom or the adjective wise. Sobouti: The words science and scientist are new as used in the past 200 or 300 years. Two thousand years ago, there were no such words. So the three wise men of the Bible should be considered in the sense that Professor Damad discussed. After all, hikma and wisdom are very old notions. Hakim was the one who knew almost everything. This, at least, is the definition of hakim in Islamic societies. Bahadori: In our literature we have used the word hakim to address a poet, Hakim Ferdousi, a mathematician, Hakim Khayyam, or a philosopher, etc. If Professor Damad were here, he would say they were wise men. But Ferdousi is a poet, not a scientist. Khayyam is a scientist and a poet at the same time. Oliya: Hakim, in my opinion, is a holistic person who harmonizes his thoughts and actions with the laws of nature and the whole universe. Sobouti: Yesterday, I had my differences with Professor Damad. A newborn baby has the potential to become wise and to acquire wisdom, but is not a wise person and doesn’t possess wisdom at birth. Wisdom comes through later experiences and exposure to knowledge. In this respect, science is the most determining factor to enable one to acquire wisdom. To conclude my point, let me quote Molana Rumi. The man, whose eight hundredth birthday the world is celebrating this year, is a Sufi, a poet, a theologian, and a philosopher. He is whatever you may wish to attribute to a hakim. In one of his poems he says, “If you are wearing blue spectacles, you will see the world
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran blue.” In all fairness, I should confess that I’m wearing the spectacles of science and see everything from the viewpoint of science. Professor Damad is wearing the spectacles of wisdom and sees the world from the viewpoint wisdom. SUMMARY OF ABULHASSAN VAFAI’S PRESENTATION: INTERACADEMY COOPERATION: AN APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING While the basic concepts of science have not altered, social needs have changed dramatically. Science must address complex issues that are global in scale and must deal with difficult problems that can only be met by joint efforts. Interacademy collaboration based on the experience gained in the last ten years between Iranian and U.S. academies is one of the best ways to achieve understanding. Comments Abulhassan Vafai: Some of our French friends asked why I didn’t address more comprehensive bilateral collaboration. At Sharif University of Technology, we have collaborations with countries all over the world. But in this workshop, I was merely presenting a case study, specifically the past experience of the United States and Iran. Guyon: As far as my own country is concerned, many initiatives could be sought within the European Union. Sobouti: Thank you, Professor Guyon. Tomorrow you are coming to Zanjan to visit the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Science (IASBS). There I will hand you a long list of collaborations that IASBS has had with French institutions.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF YOUSEF SOBOUTI’S PRESENTATION: UNDERSTANDING OTHERS, THE SCIENCE WAY The logic and methodology of exact sciences are universal and free of cultures, of beliefs, and of any manmade conventions. At the same time, science is the most vigorous driving force behind the development of all societies. A practice to use the logic and methodology of science in other areas of man’s activities should, in principle, help people to better understand each other. As to the inexact sciences, the world has not forgotten the two opposing economic schools of 10 to 15 years ago. The opposing factions were ready to annihilate each other because the principles that one side was upholding were not acceptable to the other side. Similarly, as to the issues of beliefs and religions, a person cannot possibly convince another person with different beliefs that he is right and the other is wrong. Comments Schweitzer: You said that the exact sciences can be used everywhere. I wish your statement were true. I think the more accurate statement would be that they should be available to be used everywhere. But there are many places where no capability exists to use the sciences, particularly in developing countries. Masoumi Hamedani: I am afraid I didn’t understand your essential point. Do you believe that other branches of human learning or human activity can reach someday the situation in which physics, for example, is found today? Sobouti: My optimistic answer is yes. If a branch of knowledge acquires the universal and convention-free logic of physics, it will become quarrel-free as well. I find support of this belief in the history of science. Guyon: I am often embarrassed when I talk about the exact sciences in the sense that our experimental sciences are not exact. There are fluctuations and errors. There is also the question of re-
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran producibility, and fluctuations are not reproducible. Experimental science aside, there are many other domains that are as important as the exact sciences but have a totally different nature—history and sociology, for example. They are not reproducible. You will never again have the Second World War, or you will never know that if the murder in Sarajevo had not happened, the First World War would not have started in the same way. So history will never be an exact science. It cannot be because it cannot have the reproducibility of the experimental sciences. Sobouti: I agree that history is not and cannot be an exact science. Guyon: Yet it is highly valuable and indispensable. Schweitzer: We have not given enough credit to the social and economic sciences. It is in the application phase that the social and economic sciences are important, but I do not think that you can equate the social and economic sciences to the natural sciences. Sobouti: I thank you all for the active participation in the discussion. The points of view that you have offered are most valuable and will certainly enrich the proceedings. SUMMARY OF ETIENNE GUYON’S PRESENTATION: LOVING AND SHARING SCIENCE: PIERRE-GILLES DE GENNES I presented some of the elements of the tool box of one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century who combined vigor with intuition and fantasy, open-mindedness with curiosity, and sharing with listening to others. His way of presenting science was based on simplicity. Images and analogies were always present, and pedantry and selfishness were excluded. He was a lover of life, as he was a lover of science. The model he offered to us opens the doors to understanding to a large class of people and not just scientists.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran Comments Guyon: To open a gateway to understanding, one needs keys to it. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes had this metaphor. A scientist is like a man in front of a locked door with many keys in his hand. A prudent person would ordinarily try to study the shape of the keys and the keyhole before trying a key. “But what I did instead,” said de Gennes, “was to use the first key that I put my hand on; and much to my delight it opened the door. But then I realized that all the keys also opened the door.” The important aspect is to dare to use a key. Mandana Farhadian: I am familiar with Professor de Gennes’ thoughts and research. Once he mentioned that for students who come from developing countries to the West, it is better that they choose a topic they can pursue in their home countries as well. Otherwise they might be compelled to stay in the foreign country with little benefit to their homeland. I believe this is very good advice to follow when considering exchanges of students or interuniversity collaborations. Sobouti: One of the impressive qualities of Pierre-Gilles de Gennes was his search for physics around himself rather than in books. For him, physics was everywhere, in the flow of water from a tap, in the coiling of honey from a spoon, in cosmetics, and in everything and everywhere. Bahadori: Newton was like that. Sobouti: Pierre-Gilles de Gennes was not the only person to have this quality, but he was one of the few in contemporary times that we have known.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF NORMAN NEUREITER’S PRESENTATION: SUCCESSES IN BUILDING INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES THROUGH SCIENCE International scientific and technical cooperation can be a very useful instrument of an active and constructive foreign policy. It can also be useful in improving U.S. relations with Iran. Comments Sobouti: I don’t think anyone disagrees with this wise statement. Ousmane Kane: Increased relations between northern and southern countries should be emphasized. Neureiter: Clearly, we can generalize it. A broadly informed policy is a useful instrument and can be very appropriate to countries in Africa and other areas. The context for the Americans is the relationship with Iran. But I think we should agree with Dr. Kane to generalize the statement. SUMMARY OF AKIO MATSUMOTO’S PRESENTATION: BRIDGE FOR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING Economics is a branch of the social sciences. However, it has interdisciplinary marriages with mathematics, physics, and engineering and is expanding its scope. Dividing science into the social sciences and the natural sciences seems to be superfluous. Comments Schweitzer: There are fundamental differences between the natural and social sciences in terms of the evidence on which you base conclusions. It is a mistake to suggest the social sciences are just as much based on evidence as physics, for example; and so I have an objection in combining the natural and social sciences.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran However, I think there should be a counterpoint that it is not a generally accepted position. Guyon: Yesterday, I gave a word of warning that one cannot apply concepts devised for physics and mathematics to the social sciences in a straightforward way, for each field has its own complexities, different from those of others. Sobouti: In my own presentation yesterday, I made a distinction between the exact sciences and the empirical ones. It is true that economics, sociology, the art of governance, and so have their rules and regulations. But those rules and regulations are taken from everyday practices. They are at most empirical and not as exact as the laws of nature that are valid everywhere and at all times and are free from any belief and culture. So I am also inclined to disagree with Akio. Szidarovszky: I also disagree from the mathematical point of view. He tried to identify the social sciences as a portion of the natural sciences that is mathematical. SUMMARY OF HOSSEIN MASOUMI HAMEDANI’S PRESENTATION: THE UNIVERSALITY OF SCIENCE: EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY The universality of science cannot be guaranteed by its epistemological status alone. A truly universal science, while accessible to every man and woman, should also be conscious of its roots in different cultures and the overall characteristics of that culture’s history. Comments Hyadi Khajehpour: I believe that science is a social institution. When we meet and talk about the relations between different scientific organizations and understanding of science, we are not talking about science in its proper sense, that is, laws, experi-
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran ments, and related items. But we are talking mostly about the institutions that scientists have built, such as academies of sciences, universities, and laboratories. They are not only places where scientific work is carried out but are also institutions concerned with political problems. So I would agree with Dr. Masoumi. It is not the epistemological part of science that is important and brings understanding, but it is its social institutions that bring people together and make them talk about the things they have discovered or the things they plan to do. The scientific institutions are key mechanisms in bringing about understanding among different people. Sobouti: You make a distinction between the epistemological part of the science and the institutions that are supporting and patronizing science. Your point is well taken. Academies of sciences around the world, science societies, and other organizations support science. But they are not directly involved with its epistemology. They in and of themselves help bring better understanding, yet they are not the laws of Newton. Schweitzer: You have a point. But I think that physics institutions working together are not the same as social science institutions working together. There are so many judgments in social sciences that are tied up with politics that it really is not fair to compare them to the universality of physics. When we say science is universal, I think the natural sciences or the exact sciences are universal. But I am hesitant to say the social sciences are universal because they are laden with judgments that are hardly based on evidence. Christian Duhamel: I am Christian Duhamel from the French Embassy, a scientific attaché and a mathematician in civil life. Cultivation of science should follow a certain philosophy: never leave a question of a child unanswered. Just an example: my daughter once came home and said she asked her chemistry teacher, “How did they find Avogadro’s number?” The response was, “You didn’t need to know this to do the exercises you are given.” Such an attitude destroys the natural curiosity of the child. Can one really become a creative chemist without knowing how
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran Avogadro’s number was conceived? This attitude, in my opinion, is prevalent not only in science education but also in other areas. You do not need to know that to do this problem, and don’t ask further questions. You do not need to know that to live, so keep quiet. In this way, we prepare the child to live in a very technical world, as it is now, in blind serenity. He or she doesn’t need to know the workings of the telephone, the Internet, the television, or the airplane in order to be able to use them in everyday life. With such an approach, science can be a part of dictatorship. If we train children to submit to certain rules and use them to solve the problems assigned to them, we are depriving them from the freedom of thinking. If we want to democratize education, we must completely renovate the whole system of education of children. Sobouti: Let’s see if we can conclude from these lively discussions that educating people to become scientists is the task of scientific institutions, different from the epistemological aspects of science. Guyon: I don’t fully agree. We need scientists, but we need responsible citizens as well. We want to have science education, not just to create a good group of good scientists, but to enable people, everybody if possible, to have the basic understanding of the scientific methodology and the scientific facts. I would like to broaden the word scientist. The purpose is not to train just scientists but citizens, responsible citizens, with a science culture. Sobouti: I agree with you. SUMMARY OF MICHAEL CLEGG’S PRESENTATION: THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS Why should science emphasize international cooperation? All people of the world face common challenges such as global warming, water resource scarcity, and food security. Science can offer an optimal approach to mitigating these problems. To reach
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran decision makers, several global organizations have evolved. One is the InterAcademy Panel (IAP), a global network of science academies, with the goal of providing decisionmakers with rational solutions to global challenges. The IAP works with an engineering analog, a medical analog, and a body that provides in-depth recommendations on global issues to policy makers. Comments Guyon: Clearly, academies are playing important roles. But in my opinion, their functions should not replace the responsibilities of their member citizens. On problems of ethics, for example, I have seen a number of ethics committees. I presume that they are knowledgeable and should do their jobs. On the other hand, such institutions should not prevent the citizens from being informed adequately to contribute. SUMMARY OF BERNARD MAITTE’S PRESENTATION: SCIENCE AND CULTURE Contemporary science has modified societies deeply. Because of its disciplinary character, however, it is often separated from culture. Past technologies that were developed through means different from modern techniques were intimately connected with the ways of life of the people. The question remains open whether one is justified to use any technology that science produces. Comments Guyon: Nanoscience, high energy physics, and related developments are getting closer and closer to becoming technologies. For example, we are now working with Bose-Einstein condensation. Maybe in 10 years, Bose-Einstein condensation—now a pure
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran science—will become a technology as lasers did in the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, it is important to know how new sciences like nanoscience will impact technology. This will give people more freedom of choice to accept or reject scientific achievements. Khajehpour: I have a bit harsher understanding of Dr. Maitte’s contribution. I think what he wants to say is that the modern sciences started by claiming to conquer and even, as Hume puts it, to rape nature. This was the way people thought and expressed their endeavors. Until the twentieth century the human being was somehow excluded from what was to be conQuéréd. But by the mid-century and onwards, with the very rapid advance of science, this conquering has included the human being himself. Science and technology do whatever is possible—to some extent irrespective of the real needs of the human being. We may not agree, but it is a fact that this “new human being” is quite a different subject. Now we are living with a different approach to science that I believe should be corrected and should be examined carefully. Junes Ipakschi: In my opinion, there is no clear separation between science and technology. The technology of producing chemicals is part of science, as is medicine. Bahadori: Have you heard the statement, “The scientist discovers what there is, but the engineer is the one who creates what there isn’t?” Engineers utilize the basic knowledge available to them but create things that don’t exist. In the case of medicine, the person who makes it is an engineer. He uses the basic knowledge that exists.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF GLENN SCHWEITZER’S PRESENTATION: A HALF CENTURY OF SUCCESSES AND PROBLEMS IN U.S.-IRANIAN COOPERATION IN SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE An example of past cooperative programs, in this case U.S. and Iran cooperation, can provide useful lessons that are helpful in designing and carrying out future programs. We need to learn from the past to inform the future. Comments Masoumi: Before the revolution, there was very strong scientific cooperation between Iran and the United States After the revolution there was a new phase with drastically reduced communications. Cooperation has always been dependent on political situations. I have three questions: How does this come about? Can we envisage another situation in which political changes do not affect scientific relations to such a degree? Has the new phase of cooperation between Iranian and American academies led to any concrete research projects or cooperation on specific problem? Sobouti: You are saying that international collaboration depends on the support of governments and that individual roles can be enhanced or diminished, depending on the policies at higher levels. In any event, collaborations always need patrons. Don’t we agree on that? Schweitzer: You are certainly right. But there is one point that is important. Scientific collaboration can have the capability of withstanding political assaults, if you like. So in the case of Iran and the United States, the fact is that many Iranian students went to the United States, for example, and came back despite political changes in Tehran. They are still trying to maintain their collaboration, in spite of the political situation. The point is that cooperation
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran in science has a built-in sustainability that is very useful in withstanding political difficulties and in surviving through political turmoil. Are there any success stories in recent times? I think the number of joint publications between Iranian and American scientists is very high relative to the number of joint publications between Iranians and scientists of other countries. In fact it’s at the top of the list. The fact that there are so many joint publications, even at this most difficult time, supports the idea that cooperation can withstand political assaults. Guyon: It would be very valuable if historians studied cases similar to U.S.—Iran collaborations. To wit is the case of the Soviet Union and the rest of the world during the Cold War era. Collaborations between scientists, and particularly space scientists, all over the world were excellent. I am very familiar with the difficulties of the peoples of Argentina and Chile with the rest of the world and also the case of French scientists during the difficult time of fascism in France. Despite the difficulties with the governments, scientific contacts were maintained without interruptions. I have followed very closely Chile after Pinochet, and I can say that there was no break in collaborations despite political difficulties. SUMMARY OF THOMAS JORDAN’S PRESENTATION: OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN EARTHQUAKE SYSTEM SCIENCE The study of earthquakes is a system science that requires international collaboration in order to sample earthquake behaviors in different tectonic environments. Opportunities exist for international collaboration in (1) prediction of strong ground motions, (2) earthquake rupture forecasting, and (3) education of the public about earthquake risk.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran Comments Khajehpour: The type of work that Thomas Jordan mentions is one of the best examples of collaboration that can be developed among different nations. It can withstand political upheavals in developing countries. This sort of cooperation is hard to develop, but when it is developed it will endure changes that may happen between the states. It will endure because it is scientific work and because determined scientists are involved. They come to a much wider understanding of what the scientific work is about. Duhamel: I am in charge of the scientific collaboration between France and Iran. We have a lot of cooperation between France and Iran. It could be useful not only to have bilateral collaborations but also to think of multilateral and international cooperation. Presently we have collaborations with three universities in Iran: Sharif University, Tehran University, and Amir Kabir University. One of our projects is to create a common doctoral program in mathematics jointly among France, Spain, and probably Germany. Other countries may also join. Seismology is particularly of interest. Geologists are interested in data coming from earthquake-prone Iran. Vafai: On behalf of Sharif University, I would like to emphasize what Dr. Duhamel just said. In the past 10-15 years, we have trained about 35 scientists in collaboration with France. The program started as a pilot project. The program required a student to spend a year in France to complete his thesis project. We began with 2-3 students and gradually increased the number to 10—15. Most of these scientists, with the exception of a few, are teaching in Iranian universities all over the country.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF OUSMANE KANE’S PRESENTATION: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY: PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATION Science, technology, and innovation have an important role to play for Africa’s sustainable development. To that end, strong international partnerships through institutional collaborative programs are most welcome, particularly for capacity building. Comments Ipakschi: I am an engineer, and I think that science and technology are different. Guyon: In fact, the difference is huge because of the lack of technological training of young people. This lack of technological training is related to the lack of equipment, not necessarily heavy equipment. Technology in most of Africa is at a low level. It is not uncommon to see very good African scientists. But these young scientists are not often capable of developing experiments. One should emphasize adequate basic training in experimental science. Sobouti: My point is that developing a society is a very complex task because societies are very complex systems. In complex problems, one cannot pinpoint all impeding factors and make adequate provisions for them. At most, one can come up with an average and approximate solution. The example of the “train” that you mentioned is not satisfying: A train is a simple system. It either moves forward or backward, but a society is different. To develop a society, you need all possibilities at your disposal, and these possibilities include the talent of everyone that you may find in the society. To make those talents flourish, you need a high degree of literacy. It is good literacy that I wish to emphasize.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF WILLIAM COLGLAZIER’S PRESENTATION: GLOBAL ENERGY CHALLENGES Global energy challenges can be a source of friction and conflict, even war, between countries. If applied wisely, science and technology can help to find pathways to a secure energy future for all people. The objective should be to improve lives everywhere and to protect the environment. Comments Schweitzer: I would emphasize Iran’s unique position in the world. Iran has the second largest liquid oil reserve in the world and the second largest gas reserve. Given that, we should acknowledge that cooperation in the energy area is very important for Iran. What do you think about the future of nuclear power and CO2? Colglazier: Nuclear power is not totally free of CO2 because you have to manufacture and produce the equipment for the power plants. There are other potential environmental issues. So nuclear technologies are not totally benign. But the carbon emissions from nuclear power are very low compared to the other alternative energy sources. Neureiter: The waste storage problem is not trivial. Colglazier: Waste is a serious problem, but there are technical solutions. The political problems may be even greater than the technical problems, since not many populated areas are interested in having a nuclear waste storage site in their neighborhoods. Sobouti: For carbon sequestration, what are the prospects at present? Colglazier: There is a long way to go. It is going to be expensive, and much of the research and development is needed. The United States is just starting with some demonstration projects in three areas of the country, but it is not a near-term technology at
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran the moment. Probably the most important thing we can do in terms of dealing with energy usage in transportation in the near term is being more efficient. There are many studies on technologies that could improve energy efficiency in automobiles significantly. In the United States, some of the big automobile manufacturers are not particularly eager to be forced to employ new technologies. If you are interested in relevant reports, the website of the U.S. National Academies is www.nationalacademies.org. If you are from a developing country, all our reports are available free of charge in PDF format. SUMMARY OF FERENC SZIDAROVSZKY’S PRESENTATION: MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT CULTURES AND BACKGROUNDS I reported from my life and some personal experiences on ignorance and the lack of understanding. I also talked of my personal involvement in research with people from different cultures, religions, customs, and ways of life. Working together on science helps people not only to augment their scientific knowledge, but also to know each other as people.
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Science as a Gateway to Understanding: International Workshop Proceedings Tehran, Iran SUMMARY OF MEHDI BAHADORI’S PRESENTATION Science alone is not the answer. Science plus morality or ethics can solve problems. We need to have moral values to use science for the benefit of mankind. Comments Sobouti: In the ancient Spartan society, if you stole something and you weren’t caught, you were a brave man. But if you were caught stealing, you were just a thief. You see, this is the ethic of one primitive society. My point is that ethics and morality depend on the societies and on the cultures. Bahadori: I’m not going back to five thousand years ago. We are the people of today. Why should you refer to the ethics of five thousand years or two thousand years ago? Today’s science and today’s definition of ethics are what we should use. If a man is a terrorist, how can we justify his actions? Just two days ago, 160 people were killed and hundreds were injured in Pakistan. Those responsible used the most recent scientific knowledge. Certainly their action is unethical. Sobouti: I agree with you on this incident. Right now, however, there are people in the world that you and I are calling terrorists and others are calling democracy seekers and freedom fighters and vice versa. Even these words do not have clear-cut definitions.
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