Science and Technology for Development: Prospects Entering the Twenty-First Century. A symposium in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C., June 22-23, 1987.
This Symposium described and assessed the contributions of science and technology in development of less developed countries (LDCs), and focused on what science and technology can contribute in the future. Development experts have learned in the last 3 decades that transfer of available technology to LDCs alone does not bring about development. Social scientists have introduced the concepts of local participation and the need to adjust to local socioeconomic conditions. These concepts and the development of methodologies and processes that guide development agencies to prepare effective strategies for achieving goals have all improved project success rates. Agricultural scientists have contributed to the development of higher yielding, hardier food crops, especially rice, maize, and wheat. Health scientists have reduced infant and child mortalities and have increased life expectancy for those living in the LDCs. 1 significant contribution was the successful global effort to eradicate smallpox from the earth. Population experts and biological scientists have increased the range of contraceptives and the modes for delivering family planning services, both of which have contributed to the reduction of fertility rates in some LDCs. Communication experts have taken advantage of the telecommunications and information technologies to make available important information concerning health, agriculture, and education. For example, crop simulation models based on changes in temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, solar radiation, and soil conditions have predicted outcomes of various agricultural systems. An integration of all of the above disciplines are necessary to bring about development in the LDCs.