How can we articulate curiosity driven science and the solving of problems that we have today, or that we already foresee for tomorrow?
The first part of this development deals with how Agenda 2030 could be a guide for science and technology development?
The IYBSSD 2022 organizers support of course curiosity driven science, first of all. But they are not naïve: in the present world, even curiosity driven science must be aware of what happen in societies, in all societies all over the world.
It is certainly one of the aims of IYBSSD 2022 to discuss at every level of society, in as many countries as possible, how the freedom of scientists to be guided by their curiosity can be informed also by SDGs. It won’t be an easy debate, especially as crises develop, that jeopardize human lives: we tend to look for immediate solutions to our most pressing problems.
But to take just one example, that may sadly stay with us for a while, how could we have any hope today to tackle the COVID-19, without the past decades of very basic biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, etc. research? Scientists who did these researches for, primarily, a better understanding of nature and a better knowledge of all that is possible to do, certainly were not thinking about treating RNA viruses.
Who knows what kind of knowledges we will need tomorrow to fight other kind of crises?
So, what did the group of independent scientific experts write about this? For today, it will be enough to read their key messages for this part:
- Science and technology are powerful agents of change for better or worse, depending on how they are steered. Guided by the 2030 Agenda, intensified science-policy cooperation can harness breakthroughs in our understanding of human-environment systems to enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- International scientific assessments can synthesize existing knowledge and build consensus on key insights. They also provide crucial advice for policymaking. Going forward, more effort is needed to integrate regional perspectives and maximize synergies between different assessments.
- The urgent need for transformations towards sustainable development demands that we strengthen the directionality of science on behalf of a mutually beneficial “moon landing” for humanity and the planet. Researchers, engineers, science policymakers and funding agencies can adopt the 2030 Agenda as a shared compass to increase the relevance and benefits of science and technology for the global community.
We will of course come back on all these points in the next posts.