Obstructed scientific investigation Unnecessary research taboos Unjustified constraints on technological development
There are increasing retreats from following up on scientific and technological breakthroughs. Cost factors have discouraged further space exploration, notably of the moon. Bovine growth hormones have been banned in certain locations because they would boost milk yields and hence increase the cost of subsidies. Few can benefit from the latest surgical techniques. Technical factors may impede certain investigations. Ethical factors may hinder others as in the case of the use of vivisection and use of foetal tissue in medical research. Environmental factors have impeded the development of technological "fixes" to existing problems on the basis that such solutions may engender problems worse than those they are designed to solve.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.