The current overemphasis on analysis without the necessary counter-balance of synthesis or interpretation leads to a form of analytical stagnation, or an analyzed chaos without meaning. Science has provided more data than can be intelligently interpreted. The mere quantity of facts necessitates a specialized form of analysis without the possibility of seeing the facts within their full context. Without such a perspective, future generations are ill-equipped for the ever-increasing complexity of human experience.
Science is getting out of hand. The most remarkable feature of the current scientific explosion is its almost total lack of direction and organization. The power wielded by scientists is increasing at a terrifying rate, but the growth of any adequate scientific ethos and philosophy is almost imperceptible.
Anti-science is fashionable among those with a classics or humanities education and those with no education at all. The essence of the scientific revolution of the past four centuries has been the evolution of analysis. The achievements of analysis in microbiology, cosmology, particle and high-energy physics, applied mathematics and logic (particularly in information and communication theory which lies behind the artificial intelligence of the computer), point not to stagnation but rather the possibility of convergence towards a new science of first principles that explains the origin and meaning of life and consciousness.
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.