Flanders’ Future as a Knowledge Society
“A knowledge society generates, processes, shares and makes available to all members of the society knowledge that may be used to improve the human condition.”
Stuurgroep van het Denkersprogramma Flanders Future towards a Knowledge Society
Is Flanders indeed on its way to a curiosity and innovation driven knowledge society? This is the question that we intended to address today during this Thinkers' Programme entitled "Flanders Future as a knowledge society (F2KS) in perspective".
Flanders has made great progress on its way to a Knowledge Society especially in the last decade. Innumerous programs, actions and instruments to stimulate research, education, and innovation for business and industry have been launched. But we have to admit that the return on these investments is not as strong as expected. Can one identify some of the origins of this problem? Can solutions be proposed?
Professor José Mariano Gago is an experimental high energy physicist and a Professor at IST (Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon). He graduated as an electrical engineer by the Technical University of Lisbon and obtained a PhD in Physics at École Polytechnique and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris. He worked for many years as a researcher at the European Organisation for Nuclear Physics (CERN), Geneva, and in Portugal’s Laboratory for Particle Physics (LIP) that he created and currently chairs.
He has also created and chairs a think-tank for forwardlooking studies, Instituto de Prospectiva, responsible for the annual Arrabida meetings on prospective studies (since 1991).
He launched the Ciência Viva movement to promote S&T culture and S&T in society. He was responsible for the reform of Higher Education and for the policies leading to the fast development of Science and Technology in Portugal. During the Portuguese EU presidency (2000), he prepared, along with the European Commission, the Lisbon Strategy for the European Research Area and for the Information Society in Europe. He also launched in 1998 the EurekaAsia Initiative in Macao. During the 2007 Portuguese EU Presidency he promoted the adoption of a strategy for the future of S&T in Europe and for the modernisation of Universities in the EU. He was responsible, with M. Heitor, for the launching of large scale collaborative programs with US universities (MIT-Portugal, as well as with CMU, UTA and Harvard Medical). Prof. Gago has also prepared, with UNESCO and CPLP, a new initiative and a new UNESCO Centre for the advanced training of scientists from developing countries, Ciência Global.
He chaired the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) and campaigned for the creation of the European Research Council. He also chaired the High Level Group on Human Resources for Science and Technology in Europe and coordinated the European report Europe Needs More Scientists (2004). Prof. Gago was the first President of the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Geneva and is a member of IRGC Board. He is a member of the Board of INSERM (France), a policy advisor to the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Institute, and a member of the Governing Board of Euroscience. He is special advisor to the European Space Agency (ESA) Director-General. He is a member of the Academia Europaea and was elected Honorary
Member of the European Physical Society.