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International Youth Network for the Advancement of the Sciences, Humanities and Global Bioethics (IYNet)

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In Memoriam

International Youth Network for the Advancement of
the Sciences, Humanities and Global Bioethics (IYNet)

The new transdisciplinary IYNet project is a Canadian international initiative of the Public Awareness Education Programs (PAEP, est. 1979). The key objective is to advance youth as a value-creating resource, building on scholarship, intergenerational dialogue, and the commitment to global ethics.

The project is a meeting of minds, science and human experience.

Photos © UNESCO

As an NGO member of Forum UNESCO and UNEP, PAEP takes initiatives, working with and for youth, and is committed to:

  • Promoting and advancing the universal values, principles and objectives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the United Nations Environment Programme

  • Understanding and respecting cultural diversity as the common heritage of humanity

  • Affirming that respect for the diversity of cultures, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of mutual trust and understanding are among the best guarantees of international peace and security

  • Strengthening international cooperation in the protection of the world's natural, cultural, intellectual and scientific heritage for our common humanity

  • Advancing established and new knowledge for sustainable development, the preservation of biodiversity, and the conservation of the environment

  • Linking youth firmly to the long-term goals of UNESCO and UNEP towards a universal code of ethics for the benefit of present and future generations

The IYNet Project, by correlating the sciences with humanistic learning, encourages young women and men to realize that their thoughts and actions are an important part of the meaning of this world. Youths are motivated to share their commitment to working for a sustainable world community and to laying the foundations for a better and more peaceful future.

By Exploring New Ways of Knowing - The Sciences and Humanities, Values and Society the IYNet project objectives and programs emphasize the humanistic-cultural significance of science (scientia, or the building of knowledge and skills) and technology for sustainability, and for our common humanity in an interdependent world.

The IYNet objectives:

Fostering a new transdisciplinary educational, scientific, environmental and inter-cultural dialogue to more effectively increase public awareness, knowledge and understanding of the significance of the sciences, innovation, engineering, sustainable development and technology as an integral part of our culture.

Advancing not only a scientific-technological, but also an environmentally and inter-culturally literate human resource base.

Stimulating and developing comprehensive ideas in youth for the new knowledge and skills needed for designing a sustainable future as being a vital part for long-term economic growth, the well-being of global society and the success of future generations.

Helping young women and men access the world of the new sciences and emerging technologies, and preparing them for the 21st century by linking new ideas and knowledge for new skills and careers.

Providing information, expertise and guidance to help young people understand the links between knowledge and technology and the impact of these areas on the evolution and social cohesion of their society.

Ensuring the quality of life and dignity of future generations by realizing that the underlying principle - the future of civilization - depends largely upon sustainability, and on fostering equity and gender equality.

Recognizing from this perspective that conversion or the demilitarization of science cultures and institutions will stimulate different directions and content in our knowledge systems.

Motivating and involving young people so that they explore and recognize their potential through lifelong learning.

Inspiring young people to become innovators, and to gain empowerment to ensure their full participation in their own society, and for the common good of the global community.

Connecting scholarship with the world and in public dialogue.

IYNet Project Development: Key Considerations and Observations

  • Over the next 30 years almost 98 per cent of global population growth is going to take place in developing countries. It is not religion, tribal feuds, irrational acts of states, or poverty that are the main causes for the worldwide growing escalation of radicalism and terrorism, but the rising population of largely poor and desperate youths of the world's population that are drawn into existential, competing conflicts and atrocities. 1500 million children [excluding China!] under the age of 15 will reach adulthood in the next 15 years.

  • What this new generation does will largely determine the future of our planet, and greatly influence how we advance science, knowledge-building, social cohesion and democracy. The hazards of youth at risk of exclusion in the developing regions is enormous, no longer threatening a minority but whole sections of society along with our collective destiny.

  • As we enter the 21st century, the biggest challenge facing our next generations is to ensure that the direction of globalization and the advancement of science becomes an insightful force for a shared humanity. A humanistic force that respects the common intellectual, cultural and scientific heritage of humankind and equitably provisons the world's people with ecological goods and services they need to build and maintain their societies.

  • Of vital importance is preparing youth for the intellectual, moral and ethical responsibilities needed for a deeper understanding of interconnectedness, the respect for cultural diversity, and the safeguarding of biodiversity for achieving equitable sustainability to ensure the quality of life and dignity of future generations.

  • As current world events demonstrate, there is an urgent need to focus on that which unites humanity rather than that which divides it. Moral and ethical progress does largely depend upon the growth of scientific, factual knowledge both of human behaviour and human affairs, and of the world in which we live. Everyone has the responsibility to shape the future of humanity. Our single most important enterprise is an education that creates a common network of rational thought across the globe.

  • To build a stronger foundation for our common humanity in the transformation from the production-consumption model of our industrial age to the emerging industrial age of sustainability and interdependence, we must advance not only a scientific-technological, but also an environmentally and inter-culturally literate human resource base.
  • Expanded IYNet Project Development Core Issues, Key Considerations and Observations

    Additional Section on Core Issues:
    The Science of Human Behaviour: A Working Document
    The Effects of War and Violence on Children, Youth
    and the Advancement of Education, Science and Humanity

    (Incl: Iraq Images of War, 2003-2008 – Regarding the Pain of Others) Crucial lessons to be learned from the pre-emptive, illegal war of aggression against Iraq for geopolitical, corporate and private gain, the detrimental impact it has on youth development internationally and the advancement of science and knowledge-building for humanity. (With thanks to Agence France Presse, Associated Press, Reuters,United Nations, UNESCO and Others)

    The IYNet project builds on the innovative, transdisciplinary Canadian International Youth Forum concept. (please see Project Background, below.)

    The objectives are communicated and advanced through:


    • Building awareness
    • Exchanging and expanding knowledge
    • Developing ideas into constructive regional IYNet initiatives through the development of Regional International Youth Forums of the Sciences and Humanities - Values and Society
    • The Canadian International Youth Letter and similar regional publications, complemented by,
    • Information Resources, Education and Research Website - Sciences and Humanities - - supported by,
    • The Global Bioethics Network
    • Regional and international on-line dialogue

    Regional IYNet Dialogue Centres are being established and advanced in collaboration with national and international contacts in 211 countries, including directors, coordinators and members of the following:

    • Alliance of Civilizations Initiative of the United Nations (AoC)

    • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - Science and Human Rights Program

    • Arab Regional Branch - International Council on Archives (ARBICA)

    • Assembly of First Nations

    • Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)

    • Association of African Universities (AAU)

    • Association of Arab Universities

    • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)

    • Association of University Lecturers of Iraq

    • Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society (CASTS)

    • Canadian Education Association (CEA)

    • Canadian Geoscience Education Network (CGEN)

    • China Education Association for International Exchange

    • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) (German Academic Exchange Service)

    • European Association for International Education (EAIE)

    • Geological Association of Canada (GAC)

    • Global Bioethics Network

    • Global Ethic Foundation

    • Goethe Institute

    • Hamburg Institute for Social Research

    • IRIN - Humanitarian news and analysis (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

    • Institute for Social Research, University of Frankfurt

    • International Association of Universities (IAU)

    • International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

    • International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies

    • International Exchange Erasmus Student Association

    • International Organization for Science and Technology Education

    • International PEN

    • International Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

    • International Student/Young Pugwash organization

    • International Union of Geological Sciences

    • International University Network for Iraq

    • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

    • Iraqi Libraries Network

    • Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IESCO)

    • Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

    • Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

    • Middle East Librarians Association - Committee on Iraqi Libraries (USA)

    • National Education Association - USA - Student Program

    • Raphael-Lemkin-Institute for Xenophobia and Genocide Research,
      University of Bremen

    • The New School for Social Research

    • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

    • United Nations University

    Project Background

    In 1985 the Collège de France issued a report entitled Propositions pour l'enseignement de l'avenier (Proposal for the Education of the Future). The first of ten principles to which modern schools must subscribe reads as follows: 1. L'unité de la science et la pluralité des cultures. Un enseignement harmonieux doit pouvoir concilier l'universalisme inherent a la pensée scientifique et le relativisme qu'enseignent les sciences humaines, attentives à la pluralité des modes de vie, des sagesses et des sensibilités culturelles.

    1. The unity of science and the plurality of cultures. A carefully fashioned system of education must be able to integrate the universalism inherent in scientific thought with the relativism of the social sciences, that is, with the disciplines attentive to the significance of cultural differences among people and to the ways people live, think and feel. (Transl).

    The IYNet project incorporates the principles of the Collège de France report and the John Dewey (1859-1952), Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944) concept of knowledge-sharing (shiso no kagaku) or science of thought.

    The IYNet project builds on the transdisciplinary:

    1.   Public Awareness Education Programs of the Sciences and Humanities (PAEP est.1979)
    2.   Canadian International Youth Forums “Exploring New Ways of Knowing - Sciences and Humanities, Values and Society (est.1994) , incorporating the 1985 Collège de France educational principle of l'unité de science et la pluralité des cultures (The unity of science and the plurality of cultures).

    3.   Global Bioethics Network (GBN, est.1999)
    PAEP, as co-founder, is instrumental in developing and advancing the emerging discipline of Global Bioethics as an important principle in scientific education.

    4.   Youth Association for the Advancement of Science, Innovation and Technology (YAASIT) (First Framework Program, 2000-2006. The YAASIT objectives are incorporated into the IYNet Project).

    5.   Student Writing Award Projects -
    Theme: Building The Future: Environmental Science and Sustainable Development for the New Millennium.”

    6.   Canadian International Youth Letter of the Sciences and Humanities - Values and Society (CIYL) A special series has been prepared as part of the IYNet project. Under the theme "A Meeting of Minds,Science and Human Experience," the focus is on science and human affairs. The series incorporates youth studies and provides research-based information and analysis on human behaviour, violence and related  issues affecting youth development.

    7.   Resources, Research and Information Website

    The innovative, transdisciplinary Canadian International Youth Forums (ScienceSpheres) were established in 1994, incorporating this important principle. Under the theme, “Exploring New Ways of Knowing - Science and Humanities - Values and Society” the first youth forum was inaugurated at the Ontario Science Centre by distinguished contributors:

    • Michael Smith, 1993 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, Director, Biotechnology Laboratory, University of B.C.

    • Fraser Mustard, M.D., F.R.S.C., C.C., President, The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

    • Verna Higgins, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Botany, University of Toronto

    • Jonathon Freedman, Ph.D., Professor and coordinator of the Social Psychology Division, U of T

    • Teresa Brychcy, M.Sc., Director, Scholarship/Fellowship Programs of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).  

    In 1996 we discussed the idea of establishing the Youth Association for the Advancement of Science, Innovation and Technology (YAASIT) with Michael Smith (1932-2000), Nobel Laureate for Chemistry in 1993. He obtained contributions from his fellow Nobel Laureates and colleagues. Michael was one of our speakers in 1994 for Canadian International Youth Forum - Exploring New Ways of Knowing - Sciences and Humanities -  Values and Society, and a member of the PAEP Advisory Council. He was very enthusiastic about this innovative project for youth to access the world of the new sciences and emerging technologies, and preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.

    YAASIT, a Canada-wide millennium initiative, was the first phase of the IYNet project, and was introduced at the 2001 Canadian International Youth Forum (ScienceSphere). Under the theme, “Preparing Youth for the 21st Century -  Linking New Ideas and Knowledge for New Skills and Careers,”  the inauguration at the Ontario Science Centre was marked by 450 attendants and the contributions of York University student Jennifer Corriero, and distinguished scientists of the University of Toronto, including:

    • Ulli Krull, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, AstraZeneca Chair in Biotechnology, Vice-Principal, Research

    • Kim Vicente, Ph.D., P.Eng., Director, Cognitive Engineering Laboratory, Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
    • John Polanyi, D.Sc., P.C., C.C., F.R.S., 1986 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry.
      His opening lecture was entitled, "On Becoming a Scientist: If we want today to give tomorrow's world a real chance, then we must give science its rightful place."

    Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC-DRHC) provided start-up funding for the First Framework Program, i.e., the YAASIT Project. The objective was to serve as a medium and catalyst for encouraging Canadian youth to learn to build the future using the tools of science, innovation and technology in the context of a productive, concerned and sustainable society.

    A message from the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson and the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien.

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