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Sec. Of State Clinton Stresses Importance Of Science And Innovation For Development

“Innovation, science [and] technology must again become fundamental components of how we conduct development work,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a “high-level meeting of international development and science experts” last week, SciDev.net reports. The meeting, Transforming Development Through Science Technology and Innovation, “was originally billed as a consultation to help map out a ‘bold new’ science strategy for [USAID]. But observers say it went beyond that, putting science and innovation firmly at the heart of USAID’s work and the administration’s development policy.” The article notes that the meeting “follows the recent appointment of a science and technology adviser and repeated calls for USAID to consider more focused approach to its support of science and technology in developing countries,” the news service writes.

Specifically, Clinton “emphasised the need to collaborate with the private sector, non-governmental organizations and, particularly, local groups.” She also said the administration is encouraging science diplomacy and exploring ways to promote innovation by including competitions “that encourage more people to put their own intellectual capital to work.”

The article also includes comments from Alex Dehgan, conference co-chair; Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator; Vaughan Turekian, an officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and John Holdren, director of the White House office of Science and Technology, who “told the meeting that [President Barack] Obama would be looking for ways to take concrete actions on the conference recommendations” (Sharma, 7/16).

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