Registration now open for landmark CERN conference

Geneva, 6 November 2003. Journalist registration is now available for the Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS) conference, to be held at CERN1 on 8-9 December. To register, go to http://www.cern.ch/rsis/ and click on "participation".

A contributing event to the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva, 10-12 December 2003), RSIS will explore future contributions of science to the information society based on past and present practice. RSIS arose from a grassroots initiative of CERN, the International Council for Science, the Third World Academy of Science and UNESCO to put science on the agenda of the World Summit. Scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders from around the world will gather at RSIS to discuss how to apply lessons learnt from the history of the information society to extend its benefits to all.

Major topics will include how to narrow the digital divide between the world's haves and have-nots, and how emerging technologies can enhance education, health care, economic development, and environmental stewardship. Distinguished speakers including WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee; Ismail Serageldin, the Director-General of the Library of Alexandria; Oracle Corporation Senior Vice-President Juan Rada; Adama Samassekou, President of the World Summit; and President Ion Iliescu of Romania will lead the plenary discussions and a series of parallel sessions. A complete programme, with speakers, is available on the website.

The World Summit on the Information Society is organised by the International Telecommunications Union under the patronage of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Participants will discuss how best to realize the greatest benefit from information and communications technologies. The first phase, in Geneva, Switzerland, will take place from 10-12 December 2003, while the second phase will be in Tunis, Tunisia in 2005.

In parallel with the Summit, an Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) exhibition at Geneva's Palexpo centre will spotlight present and future benefits of the information society. CERN's Science and Information Society Forum will occupy a central place at the exhibition, and will include displays on applications of science-driven technologies to health, education, and sustainable development, as well as the original Web server. The exhibit will run from 9-13 December 2003.

Notes for editors

CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the world's largest fundamental scientific research centre. Founded in 1954, the laboratory was one of Europe's first joint ventures and includes now 20 Member States, as well as formal cooperation agreements with over 30 other nations worldwide.

Founded in 1931, the International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. The ICSU membership includes both national scientific bodies (101 members) and international scientific unions (27 members).

The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) is an autonomous international organization, founded in Trieste, Italy in 1983. With more than 600 Fellows and Associate Fellows, elected from among the world's most distinguished scientists, TWAS's principal aim is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in the global South.

The main objective of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

Further Information

Shawna Williams, RSIS Information Officer, tel. +41 22 767 3559, email shawna.williams@cern.ch

The RSIS conference is sponsored by CERN, Oracle, the Santa Fe Institute, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Swedish Research Council.

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.

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