Davos: Emphasising the need for smart public policy and action in the field of research, scientists and experts have said thatscientific breakthrough with regard to Ebola is possible in 2015. The outbreak of Ebola, which has killed many people in different parts of the world especially Africa, has been a major concern.
In a session on global outlook for science in the coming years at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here, a statement quoting scientists said: “There is hope for breakthroughs in treating Ebola, mapping the brain and understanding physics in 2015.” However, they cautioned that breakthroughs in research are not enough to change societies and said that research must be complemented by smart public policy and public action.
One of the areas in which progress has been lacking involves global action to address climate change, they added.
“This is an amazing century for the life sciences,” National Institutes of Health, USA Director Francis S Collins said.
According to Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President, European Research Council, Belgium, “dealing with data is really becoming a central object of study for science.”
Though, innovative funding models can encourage partnerships, and technology facilitates data-sharing. Scientists, however, often face difficulties securing funding for fundamental research, they said.
“Scientific research works on a longer cycle than the election cycle,” Konstantin Novoselov, Research Fellow, Mesoscopic Physics Research Group, University of Manchester, United Kingdom said. “We have to fight for the money from the people who don’t get the benefits,” Novoselov added.
“Science is this great tool for predicting knowledge,” said Brian Schmidt, Professor, Australian National University, Australia and added, “but it’s not guaranteed to come up with solutions fast enough.”