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Politics and Science

Plenary / Panel
english language


Adjunct professor, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg Abstract
"Prioritizing the world: if we can't do it all, where should we start?"

Ideally, we could deal with every one of the world's woes. We could win the war against hunger, end conflicts, stop communicable diseases, provide clean drinking, step up education and halt climate change, at the same time. But we don't live in an ideal world. We must ask ourselves a hard question: If we can't do it all, what should we do first? Like any family with a household budget, developed nations have to prioritise spending because no dollar can be spent twice. Money spent battling climate change cannot also be used to defeat AIDS.
These spending decisions can be compared to the choices faced by doctors at an overrun hospital. Imagine if medics refused to perform triage on casualties but instead attended to patients as they arrived, fast-tracking those whose families made the most fuss. The approach would be unjust; it would waste resources and cost lives.
We must carefully examine where we can do the most good for the dollars we invest. This is what Copenhagen Consensus is about. Within this project 30 specialist economists joined forces with 8 of the world's top economists - including three Nobel Laureates - to make such a global priority list. Bjorn Lomborg will discuss the Copenhagen Consensus project and show which projects should be the top priorities of the world -- and which projects should not.
Partner, Washington Advisory Group, Washington DC Abstract
The Scientist as an Advisor (Summary)

More than ever before, policy makers in government and in the private sector must deal with issues that have a basis in science and technology. Some historical and current examples are:
Is global warming a serious threat?
Are genetically modified foods safe?
Is it necessary to protect all endangered species?
Is there a risk of eating beef because of  mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)?
Is the ozone hole caused by the refrigerant Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)?

How is this advice to be provided? By whom? To what extent should science or politics determine the outcomes? What are some of the pitfalls facing scientists providing advice. How can scientists serve as advisors with integrity in the face of personal biases, possible conflicts of interest, and incomplete scientific data?

I will address these and related issues drawing on my own experiences as a scientist and an accountable government adviser.
Freie Journalistin, Wien Chair


Adjunct professor, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg

1991 M.A. in political science (Cand.scient.pol.)
1994 Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
1994-1996 Assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus
1997-2005 Associate professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus
2002-2004 Director of Denmark's national Environmental Assessment Institute
2004 Organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus
since 2005 Adjunct Professor, Copenhagen Business School
since 2006 Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

Dr. Frank PRESS

Partner, Washington Advisory Group, Washington DC

1946 Columbia University, M.A.
1949 Ph.D. (geophysics)
1949-1955 Instructor, Associate Professor (geophysics), Columbia University
1955-1965 Professor, California Institute of Technology
1965-1977 Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1981-1987 President, National Academy of Sciences
1977-1980 Science Advisor to the President
since 1996 Principal, Washington Advisory Group


Freie Journalistin, Wien

1984-2009 Ressort Innenpolitik in der Radio-Information, ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
1991-1997 Ressortleiterin, ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
1997-2002 Sendungsverantwortliche "Report", Moderation des politischen TV-Wochenmagazins des ORF "Report"
1999 Sendungsverantwortung für "Report International"
2001 Sendungsverantwortung für "Europa-Panorama"
2002-2005 Moderation von "Modern Times", des Zukunftsmagazins des ORF
2002-2009 Leiterin der Hauptabteilung "Bildung und Zeitgeschehen", ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk
seit 2009 Freie Journalistin und Moderatorin

Technology Forum

show timetable


10:00 - 12:00Technology brunch sponsored by Tiroler ZukunftsstiftungSocial
13:00 - 14:00OpeningPlenary
14:00 - 15:30Our futurePlenary
16:00 - 18:00Location of science and research - a global shift?Plenary
20:00 - 21:00SecurityPlenary
21:30 - 23:45Evening reception sponsored by Alcatel AustriaSocial


Junior AlpbachBreakout


09:00 - 15:00Working Group 01: Technology and location strategies for enterprisesBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 02: Electronic carBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 03: Science of everyday productsBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 04: Security of energy supplyBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 05: NanotechnologyBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 06: From scientific journal to breaking news: science and the mediaBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 07: Fuel cells and hydrogen - the future of transport?Breakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 08: European strategies for international research cooperationBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 09: Excellence - a question of genderBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Working Group 10: Converging technologiesBreakout
16:00 - 16:45University/industry interaction - The Atlantic picturePlenary
16:45 - 17:30University/industry interaction - The Austrian solutionPlenary
17:30 - 18:00University/industry interaction - Political ConclusionsPlenary
18:00 - 20:00Reception sponsored by Province of Lower AustriaSocial
20:00 - 21:00The science of saving VenicePlenary


09:00 - 10:30Politics and SciencePlenary
10:30 - 11:30Science at the cutting edgePlenary
12:00 - 12:15Alpbach 2005 - Resumée Junior AlpbachPlenary
12:15 - 13:00Reflections and PerspectivesPlenary
13:00 - 14:30Farewell reception sponsored by Microsoft AustriaSocial