lördag, november 07, 2009

The Right Livelihood Award

Among the different awards in the world I would strongly like to propagate for The Right Livelihood Award, sometimes called the 'alternative Nobel Prize'.

The founder - Jakob von Uexkull - wanted to create a prize awarding people making a great effort within different areas of society, not only within the scientific sphere, like the Nobel Prize, and not only stemming from the industrial countries.
He even offered the Nobel Foundation to contribute financially, creating two new prizes (one ecological) but they turned his offer down, as the very conservative and rigid organization this is.
Without this - or similar awards - the work carried out by the Right Livelihood Award laureates would hardly otherwise be recognized, certainly not by the Swedish Academy.

I feel that it's important promoting the work and engagement within other sectors of society besides natural science, where the latter always have been revered and admired by not least ignorant and historically narrow-minded politicians.
We have to keep in mind that natural science always creates problems for society.
Even the discoveries meant to help humanity - medical discoveries e.g. - always have great side effects and very often causes more problems than it solves.
A great deal of human intellectual resources have also - as we all know - been used to create weapons and different kinds of destructive tools meant to govern and submit humans.
Most inventions, within the natural sciences, devastates our natural resources like forests, lakes, mountains and other biotopes.
We all know this but unfortunately our politicians seldom discuss this huge problems caused by scientists who often themselves are quite narrow-minded, only interested in their own career and making some 'revolutionary discovery', rendering them immortality!

By saying this, I'm not so naive that I believe that the Right Livelihood laureates is a group of idealists only seeking to promote the good of mankind.
I just want to point out that I think that the work they carry out, seldom gets the attention it deserves, thus making this award very important.
It's however not only important for the laureates and their work but also important as a reminder to people in general that there are other kinds of commitments at least as important as the scientifical work and - I would like to add - sometimes more important.

The laureates 2009 are:

David Suzuki;

René Ngongo;

Alyn Ware

Catherine Hamlin

As two examples I can mention David Suzuki and Catherine Hamlin.
In the motivations for why they should be rewarded we can read (Suzukis first and then Hamlins):

-"for his lifetime advocacy of the socially responsible use of science, and for his massive contribution to raising awareness about the perils of climate change and building public support for policies to address it".

is awarded -"for her fifty years dedicated to treating obstetric fistula patients, thereby restoring the health, hope and dignity of thousands of Africa's poorest women".

(Picture logotype copied from: http://www.odemagazine.com/_media/db/post/235/3389/main.jpeg)
(Photo David Suzuki copied from: http://images.plusbellematerre.com/images/news/2bb12efab8b6c2fe6d23d0a4be5c1e0d_1.jpg)
(Photo René Ngongo copied from: http://www.greenpeace.de/typo3temp/GB/2c6a2ed065.jpg)
(Photo Alyn Ware copied from: http://www.worldmarchusa.net/images/alyn_ware.jpg)
(Photo Catherine Hamlin copied from: http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2008/03/28/drcatherinehamlin_wideweb__470x318,0.jpg)