this paper is about a social process. as a part of the ongoing revolution in computer mediated technologies, an analysis is made of the potential offered, from the perspective of the social appropriation of knowledge, by a new website for global dialogue in the field of science, technology, development and innovation that aims to an audience including all those with either a professional or personal interest in the role of science and technology in sustainable development. a brief opening discussion is made of the difficulties of improving the social understanding of science in developing countries. then scidev.net is analyzed as a project trying to build up a social web around scientific issues from the perspective of the south. the strategic aims of the website, as well as issues like the existence of hidden agendas in many of those sites, the relevance of the topics covered, the directionality of the flows of information, audiences targeted by the website, the challenges posed for building up a more harmonic international collaboration in this field, are all paid attention.