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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1977) 22(1): 7–17
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Members Comment
The proper priorities of research and development in forestry

S.D. Richardson

There is, currently, widespread disillusion with science ana technology which stems partly from a failure in communication between scientists and society and partly from, the apparent irrelevance of scientific research to the global needs of society. It is suggested that the proper priorities of forestry research and development (R & D) relate to the development and application of technologies appropriate to a global equilibrium state of biological self-sufficiency. Examples of the potential contribution of forestry and forest industries to a steady state economy lie in areas of environmental protection, waste avoidance and the development of biological alternatives to nonrenewable resources. The acceptance of such priorities implies a significant shift in R & D from the industrialised countries to tropical regions, programmes appropriate to local needs rather than the demands of the developed world, and closer direction of R&D. Such changes will not be achieved without the acceptance by scientists of social responsibilities which transcend their loyalties to employers, governments, or their own subject matter.
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