The world risks "scientific apartheid" between rich and poor countries unless research and technology is better used to benefit the poor, says one of Africa's leading science experts.
Ismail Serageldin, director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina and former chairman of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) made the comments in his keynote address to the BioVision Alexandria conference in Alexandria, Egypt, on 14 April.
He warned that science seems to be benefiting the rich, with not enough focus on solving the problems of the poor. "We need a little more than knowledge... we need wisdom," he said.
Food security is a major challenge to the global scientific community, Serageldin said, with increasing pressure from a growing population and demands for more animal feed and biofuels, as well as the effects of climate change.
He said it was a "sad indictment" on government spending that philanthropists like Bill Gates are contributing most to addressing the scientific challenges of the developing world.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, said that the world needs to run on two scientific tracks: putting existing technologies into practice for the poor, whilst simultaneously developing new technologies to address problems.
Environmental News Network 16/04: World risks 'scientific apartheid', says top African scientist