22 November 2019
20:00 CEST

Special Session, live streamed

Venue: Szepmuveszeti Muzeum, Budapest
Organised by: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) at the World Science Forum


The responsibility of science in creating a coherent vision for a sustainable world



Resource depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse – a rapidly accumulating list of crises may evoke fear of a pending apocalypse. But the original meaning of this ancient greek word is ‘when things reveal themselves’. We are living in an interesting time where a revelation has occurred and we must change course.

Given the combination of dazzling possibilities and existential threats, it is becoming clear that our generation, along with the next, is engaged in redefining what it means to be human. Humanity’s dominance on Earth means that we must take responsibility for managing the planet, at least for the foreseeable future. The responsibility of science has never been greater! 

Like these two perceptions of the present moment, there are two schools of thought in the scientific world. One advocates for staying within the Earth's boundaries to overcome the planetary crisis and avoid system collapse. The other trusts technology, the fruit of human ingenuity, to save us. In this performative session the audience will be taken on a journey through human history  to discover what values and resulting worldviews have brought us to the present. Due to the interactive character of the performance, the participants will have a unique opportunity to affect the course of the unfolding events and will be challenged to develop a viable and responsible path forward.

Performed by: Gloria Benedikt, Krisztian Gergye, Marietta Kro, Piotr Magnuszewski, Alexander Mays, Anita Barabás



Further information:

About the IIASA Science and Art Initiative

Since 2015, the Science and Art Initiative at IIASA investigates how artists and scientists can work together to support transformations to sustainability. The resulting research projects culminate in artistic productions and tackle ethical dilemmas triggered by new scientific in-sights or technological innovations, and aim to drive sustainable transformation of the way people think and act through active learning and experience. Further information: www.iiasa.ac.at/arts

About the World Science Forum

The 2019 World Science Forum (WSF) will take place between 20-23 November in Budapest under the title “Science, Ethics and Responsibility” as a joint effort of UNESCO, the International Science Council (ISC), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), TWAS – the World Academy of Sciences, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) as the host of the 2019 event and the organisation that initiated the WSF series.

WSF2019 will highlight the increasing importance of the ethical considerations that underlie our decisions about the conduct, funding, utilisation, or communication of scientific research in an era of transformative technological, environmental and social developments.

The programme aims to provide an opportunity for scientists, policy-makers, society, industry, and science communicators to be challenged from an ethical standpoint in 6 plenary sessions and allow for more technical debates in 20 thematic sessions and many more special sessions and side events.

Sessions organised by partner organisations will present how the technological revolution in biological engineering, artificial intelligence, and other highly debated fields of scientific research have the potential to radically transform human life.

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Last edited: 28 January 2020


Gloria Benedikt

Project Leader Science and Art

Directorate - COO

T +43(0) 2236 807 616


Piotr Magnuszewski

Research Scholar

Risk and Resilience


T +43(0) 2236 807 594

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