President of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network
In the second half of the twentieth century, the most characteristic process that had emerged was the relocation of heavy, polluting industrial activities from more developed countries of the world to the least developed ones. In advanced countries, scientific research, innovation, and services were inclined to remain, while the production processes were moved into countries that offered more cost-effective labor and industries became multinational. The latter option meant that different parts of a product may have been produced in different countries, by way of international shipments, and assembled where the products would be produced.
The most recent unforeseen event, the pandemic, had demonstrated that countries left without productive infrastructures, despite having artificially sophisticated service infrastructures driven by overconsumption within the fields of transport, tourism or hospitality, may still be prone to collapse from an unexpected event. Society living from services without income, are incapable of survival without state funding, while the basic needs of citizens (ex: clothing, medicine, etc.,.) are in effect discontent by the infrastructure of gross domestic products.
This requires a review of the current situation. Respectable services are needed, but only to fulfill real needs. Transport and transportation infrastructure are needed, but only within reasonable limits. Commercial infrastructure is essential, but only to meet real needs. Furthermore, production infrastructure is essential. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, citizens need to be provided for even though borders may undergo restrictions or become closed.
Where does the sobering boundary lie between the listed and unlisted cases? This question may be answered by scientific research. Scientific research infrastructures such as, (libraries, laboratories, etc.,.) are essential to measuring the well-being of a country. This is key to think about and develop for the future. As President of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), I work hard at developing our research institutes in the spirit of these ideas, and together with leadership, we strive to identify new research topics.