The Heidelberg Appeal

Background

The Heidelberg Appeal was publicly released at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. By the end of the 1992 summit, 425 scientists
and other intellectual leaders had signed the appeal. Since then, word of mouth has prompted hundreds more scientists to lend their
support. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it. In spite of this
spontaneous and growing support from the world's scientific community, the Heidelberg Appeal has received little media attention.

Neither a statement of corporate interests nor a denial of environmental problems, the Heidelberg Appeal is a quiet call for reason and a
recognition of scientific progress as the solution to, not the cause of, the health and environmental problems that we face. The Appeal
expresses a conviction that modern society is the best equipped in human history to solve the world's ills, provided that they do not
sacrifice science, intellectual honesty, and common sense to political opportunism and irrational fears.

The Heidelberg Appeal

We want to make our full contribution to the preservation of our common heritage, the Earth.

We are, however, worried at the dawn of the twenty-first century, at the emergence of an irrational ideology which is opposed to
scientific and industrial progress and impedes economic and social development.

We contend that a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and
has probably never existed since man's first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by
increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse. We full subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a
universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved.

But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on
irrational preconceptions.

We stress that many essential human activities are carried out either by manipulating hazardous substances or in their proximity,
and that progress and development have always involved increasing control over hostile forces, to the benefit of mankind.

We therefore consider that scientific ecology is no more than extension of this continual progress toward the improved life of
future generations.

We intend to assert science's responsibility and duties toward society as a whole.

We do, however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet's destiny against decisions which are supported by
pseudoscientific arguments or false and nonrelevant data.

We draw everybody's attention to the absolute necessity of helping poor countries attain a level of sustainable development which
matches that of the rest of the planet, protecting them from troubles and dangers stemming from developed nations, and
avoiding their entanglement in a web of unrealistic obligations which would compromise both their independence and their
dignity.

The greatest evils which stalk our Earth are ignorance and oppression, and not Science, Technology, and Industry, whose
instruments, when adequately managed, are indispensable tools of a future shaped by Humanity, by itself and for itself,
overcoming major problems like overpopulation, starvation and worldwide diseases.

Signatories

Below are listed some of the more than 4000 signers

*Denotes Nobel Prize Winner

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