There are two good reasons for science academies to work on SDGs.
But as it is longer than this post, have a quick look about why you should take more time for SDGs.
As the title of this post indicates, we will today present the third part of the guide (the first one is the introduction, and the second one is a presentation of SDGs, that we think is not necessary here): why should science academies feel concerned by the implementation of SDGs?
The first answer is simple: they should feel concerned like any organization and any citizen on this planet! Agenda 2030 should be the roadmap for every policy in every UN member state.
There is a strong rationale for academies and the wider scientific community to engage on the SDGs. All UN Member States are committed to their delivery and have undertaken to align and integrate national priorities with global commitments, so that the SDGs are mainstreamed within their countries. This means that national research agendas and policy priorities will, if they don’t already, reflect these global goals. As an important part of their national science systems, academies have a role to play in facilitating this process, drawing on the wealth of expertise in their membership.
The second answer is more specific to science: expertise. As a matter of fact, it is already the role, at least theoretically, of science academies in most countries, to give advice to governments on science matters. But here, the academies should be ready to propose more strongly the tools and results of science to guide public policies.
The SDGs necessarily engage many different departments / ministries within any one government; these ministries will need the tools and agencies for managing and reviewing the integration of the goals into their day-to-day business, and for devising and implementing policies and programmes to achieve them. Academies can provide expertise to put the SDGs into context and explain their importance, causes and trajectories; help devise monitoring and evaluation frameworks and identify gaps, complementarities, synergies and trade-offs across SDGs; explain complex or big data; facilitate the sharing of knowledge through open science; help develop national science, technology and innovation (STI) roadmaps/action plans; promote and practice interdisciplinary and collaborative work; and provide independent assessments of what is working and what is not, in order to advise policymakers and hold them to account.