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iKnow Community: Issues (WIWE)

The Indian Ocean as New Nexus for Science

Wild Card submitted by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang   / Comments (0)
The Indian Ocean as New Nexus for Science

Issue (WIWE) status: Submitted, Unpublished

Wild Card's progress: Nominated

This Wild Card came from: 
Foresight/Futures work

The source of this Wild Card: 
UK Delta Scan; Signtific (sponsored by National Academy of Sciences); interviews with scientists in Asia.

Likelihood timeframe and scenario features : 

Wild Card's description: 

The global epicenter of twentieth-century science was the Atlantic Ocean. The richest flows of scientific ideas and labor took place Europe and North America. In the coming decades, a new regional nexus for science and innovation will emerge along the Indian Ocean, thanks to several developments.

The growth of science education and research in India, the Middle East, and South Asia. The recent recruitment of the president of National University of Singapore to lead Saudi Arabia's KAIST suggests a growing maturity of leadership and talent in this region.

Growing intellectual and technical trade between China and Indian on one hand, and Africa on the other. Africa is the last great underdeveloped market, and Chinese and Indian companies and scientists are working to make sure that they have a presence in the region. This growing trade of ideas and technologies is starting to present a serious challenge to American and European influence in African science and technology.

Africa is emerging as center of innovation and experimentation. In appropriate technology, cellular telephony, renewable energy, and agriculture, African entrepreneurs and scientists (sometimes partnering with Indian or Chinese colleagues) are developing innovations that are making their way back to India and south Asia.

The growth of a regional trade of ideas, innovations, and talent across the Indian Ocean will boost economies and raise living standards. But it is likely to constitute yet another challenge to the supremacy of American and European science and technology.

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