A suggestion for sharing information between north and south

One of the speakers at the Global Forum, the NGO conference in Rio, made reference to the information glut that exists. A Canadian graduate student, studying in Brazil, responded that the so-called information glut exists only in the developed world, as there is very little information in the south. I believe members of Science for Peace may be able to help with this lack of information.

Those who do research understand the importance of building on what is already known. Journals are a common source of information. However, the price of subscribing to journals is often beyond the reach of universities in the south. These universities do, in many cases, have computer facilities linked to the Internet. It is through this link that researchers, from Brazil to Bangladesh, may gain access to the information they need. What is required is someone to correspond with them. If researchers in the north and south, sharing common research interests, can communicate with each other both may, gain greater insight into their problems. The importance of collaboration is recognized in industrialized countries. I simply propose to extend those lines of communication.

I suggest that members of SfP who are faculty members, or graduate students, at a Canadian university select a university in a developing country and find a contact person there. By sending a summary of the current research being done, within a department, to the “sister” university researchers sharing common interests may make contact.

The rest is up to the individuals. I realize at least some of the difficulties in this, as I am attempting this connection between Trent University and the State University of Parana, in Curitiba, Brazil, but I think it is worth the effort.

I am just learning my way around the Internet but I understand that on-line journals do exist. These may be another source of information. If anyone is an Internet expert please contact me at tdavis@trentu.ca. I have also leatned that a new network, COMNET, is being created, in Europe, which will also have online journals.