Nobel prize winner calls for democratisation of science

January 10, 2002

Brussels, 09 January 2002

Nobel laureate professor Sir Harold Kroto has called for better communication between scientists and the public and urged scientists to make better use of the Internet to democratise science.

At this year's Save British Science (SBS) society distinguished lecture, Sir Harold says: 'At this time when science and technology are making great advances and contributions to society, and also when new technologies can have potentially powerful beneficial and disadvantageous effects, it is vital that scientists talk directly to the public.

'The Internet allows them to do this on a large scale. It is a true democratisation of the interaction between science and the public.'

Using videos and other media, Sir Harold plans to demonstrate the power of modern communications technology in enabling non-scientists to debate scientific and technological developments with experts.

Dr Peter Cotgreave, Director of SBS, said: 'We are delighted that Harry Kroto will use the SBS lecture to call for more scientists to involve themselves in directly communicating with a wide public. Scientists like Darwin and Einstein, whose research had profound effects on the way we see our world, understood the need to communicate widely. In the 20th century, the scientific community started to lose that understanding.

'If we are to maintain the trust of the general public, and move forward with democratic consent, Harry Kroto is right that we must now learn to use the new technology to engage with a wide audience,' he added.

Sir Harold won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of a new form of carbon.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Peter Cotgreave
Save British Science
Tel: +44 207 679 4995
Email: peter.cotgreave@ucl.ac.uk
http://www.savebritishscience.org.uk

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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