"Knowledge For Our Times"
Knowledge is dynamic. It grows and evolves according to the needs of human society. In the past, different civilizations categorized knowledge to suit the cultural paradigm of their times.
A key focus of the present time, and an area demanding much further investigation, is the relationship between humans and nature. Sciences must be our guide in this endeavor, but history too can teach us important lessons of co-existence with our environment. To date, education and the media have only succeeded in fostering a culture characterized by narrow vested interests, intolerance and violence. There must be a fundamental change in education, creating the desire for proactive environmental protection and respect for human dignity and rights, as the two are mutually empowering.
The EOLSS body of knowledge is inspired by a vision that includes the following paradigm: The sciences should be at the service of humanity as a whole, and should contribute to providing everyone with a deeper understanding of nature and society, a better quality of life and a sustainable and healthy environment for present and future generations.
EOLSS BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
In early May 1996,
450 scientists, engineers, and policy makers from many countries were invited
to the Bahamas to participate in defining the EOLSS body of knowledge. The
Bahamas Workshop was the culmination of international collaborative efforts to
generate a detailed list of contents and achieve a global consensus and
acceptance of its structure.
The Bahamas Workshop
followed several smaller workshops that had been held earlier in 1996: in
Washington DC (January 25-28), Tokyo (March 7-8), Moscow (March 13-15), Mexico
City (March 28-29), and Beijing (March 29-31). In addition, a team of
scientists from the French Academy of Sciences provided an assessment and
recommendations. These earlier meetings and the Bahamas Workshop were devoted
not only to the overall philosophy and scope of the EOLSS, but also to
identifying in-depth coverage of specific issues.
The results from
Bahamas workshop were reviewed by invited specialist teams of experts in USA,
Japan, Russia and China in collaboration with additional meetings: August 1996
Panama, Regional Committee for South and Central America; September 1996 Abu
Sultan, Egypt Regional Committee for Africa and the Middle East; March 1997
Kuala Lumpur, Asian Regional Committee, to complete and unify the list of
House of knowledge is shown
in Figure 3. The body of
knowledge has been defined
in terms units called
Themes. The hierarchy of
contributions themes is
shown in Figure 4. There are
a few exceptions: themes
under Regional Reviews
extend only to the Topic
Level. A theme has three
distinctive levels of
writings: Theme Level, Topic
Level and Article Level,
with an increasing depth of
Figure 3. EOLSS House of Knowledge
Figure 4: Hierarchical structure of the EOLSS body of knowledge
Outlines of the Component Encyclopedias
OF TWENTY ENCYCLOPEDIAS
Science for the Twenty-First
WORLD SCIENTISTS' WARNING TO HUMANITY (1992)
WORLD SCIENTISTS' Call for Action (1997)