This paper analyses the emergence of the Knowledge Society as a consequence of the combined impact of the high rate of scientific progress that characterises this turn of century, the recent breakthroughs in information and communication technologies, and the globalisation process that is transforming production and finance markets and producing profound changes in the institutional environment of knowledge-generation and utilisation. The paper analyses the importance of learning networks and processes; the synergisms and tensions that are simultaneously generated by the dynamic interaction that is taking place between the "social and private appropriation of knowledge"; and the challenges in developing a new normative framework for knowledge generation and utilisation in solving policy issues related to intellectual property rights. Reference is also made to innovative cases of promoting learning networks and developing a dialogue among stakeholders. Experiences are also mentioned about fora on strategic issues and other mechanisms related to the social appropriation of knowledge, as well as the emerging of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), as a new expression of the globalisation of science.
Knowledge society; Globalization; Knowledge apropriation; Networks of learning; Intelectual property; Internet