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WhereAbout: Homepage Projects Project Molecular Life Science and Technologies (MLST) Foresight Project


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In 2001, the Turkish Academy of Sciences decided to initiate a Foresight Project for Science Policies. The “Molecular Life Science and Technologies Foresight” Project has been selected as a pilot study, since the world has been witnessing an extraordinary widespread scientific and technological revolution in the fields of molecular biology and genetics. The MLST Foresight Project, which started in 2002, has already been completed. The resulting report will be published. It is also available (in Turkish) on this web site.

The Steering Board of MLST Foresight Project accepted the following main principles:

Effective translation of biotechnological developments to public and individual health programmes at affordable cost;

Providing reliability and safety in the health and food sectors;

Sustainable and environmentally friendly developments in agriculture;

Development of a modern biotechnology-based industry;

Biotechnology for clean environment;

Preservation and use of our gene sources for the socio-economic benefit of the country.

What route is followed in foresight studies? The first step is to determine ‘mega-trends' in scientific areas. This can also be construed as the determination of ‘mega-trends' in research areas or in scientific and technological policies. The second step is SWOT analysis, i.e. determining the developmental trajectories that one comes across in the scientific and technological capability/potential of that country and thus identifying the country's strong and weak points in terms of mega trends worldwide. The third step is to designate priorities for that country in science studies and in the development of technology. This step involves the DELPHI inquiry process, in which the opinions of more than 450 scientists, experts and specialists involved in MLST in Turkey are collected. Thus the views of a large section of more than 2000 researchers and specialists working in Turkey in this field has been included in this report.

The exclusive goal of the MLST Foresight Project mentioned above is to carry out a long-term foresight study for Turkey in the fields of molecular biology, genetics and biotechnologies; in particular, with a view to such fields as health, agriculture, stock-raising, food, environment, genetic resources and industrial production. In these seven fields, the most important socio-economic targets (including research, innovation, education and legal provisions) to be reached in 20 years, in order to raise the level of social welfare, are determined. One should bear in mind that a foresight report is not a strategy document or a road map. This report reflects the views, as of 2004, of MLST specialists working in Turkey over the next 20 years. Naturally, these views may change depending on scientific, social, political and economic conditions, necessitating the renewal of such foresight studies. However, we expect that the present report will be taken into account in the preparation of a “National MLST Strategy Document”.

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