The Heidelberg Appeal
Heidelberg, 14 April, 1992
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.
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 fully subscribe to the objectives
of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved.
we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not
on irrational pre-conceptions.
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.
therefore consider that scientific ecology is no more than an extension of this continual progress toward the
improved life of future generations. We intend to assert science's responsibility and duties toward society as
however, forewarn the authorities in charge of our planet's destiny against decisions which are supported by pseudoscientific
arguments or false and nonrelevant data.
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.
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."