The role of basic and space sciences for the achievement of SDGs.
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Considering some of the proposals in the documents: Colombia towards a knowledge society. Reflections and Proposals. Vol 1. International Mission of Wise men and Women 2019 and Colombia builds its foundations, vol 4. International Mission of Wise Men and Women 2019, the group suggests the following strategies or actions.
This report begins by quoting the following paragraphs from the International Mission of Wise Men and Women:
“The world is moving forward in the middle of a large-scale technological convergence of high-speed, intensity and capacity for social, cultural and economic transformation.” The phenomenon known as the fourth industrial revolution will reconfigure the productive chains and provide new service and business models that can improve productivity and well-being, but they must also take into account the increasing demands for energy, natural resources protection, and higher levels of education.
The convergence of sciences and technologies in previously separate domains -for example, nanotechnology, biology, and cognitive disciplines- will have impacts that range from improving health, with the help of superior tools for medical diagnosis and treatment of diseases, to changing occupations -those of 2020 will not be the same by 2050- and modifying organizations and social relations. To take advantage of the advances and manage the inevitable uncertainty that such convergence generates, national capacities must be developed.
Enhancing national capacities as a strategy
First, Colombians must receive fundamental and versatile training for change. Secondly, coordinated strategies must be designed on several fronts, including the governance of the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation and effective and flexible management structures, as proposed in this document.
Colombia has the opportunity to become an international technological leader in certain areas of biotechnology, creative industries, and 4.0 industry, by taking advantage of its soil, water, and hydrobiological resources, biodiversity, solar radiation, and location; its cultural diversity; the capacities of its main universities and graduates; its ancestral knowledge; and its links with the diaspora of talents linked to top-level research entities.
A country cannot depend on other countries in basic knowledge to have an accelerated economic development or to dispute relevant positions in the global economy. The generation of wealth is increasingly associated with scientific productivity and requires creating new industries and developing our own technologies based on the capabilities of our people and our natural resources, while preserving them for the long-term well-being of our nation. The generation of knowledge and economic growth will be energized if an explicit agreement is reached between the state, the private sector, society and academy to row in one direction.”
The group’s discussions have focused on several lines of action. Among them are the following:
a) Socialization process proclamations and lecture sessions
In this line, two videos will be produced, the first one with the content of the general proclamation of the Mission “For a knowledge society for the next generation” and the second one with the proclamation of the focus of Basic and Space Sciences “Why Basic and Space Sciences are important”.
As for the lecture sessions on the Mission, for one or more conferences, the first part will deal with general aspects such as:
- Introduction, in which the global environment in which the Mission had to move will be explained
- How was the Mission formed, in what areas did the work focus? What methodology was followed to achieve the objectives that became clear as progress was made on this difficult but exciting journey towards a Colombia where its scientific community, private sector, state, and society wanted to come together as the report says, “to row all in the same direction”?
- Description of the starting point: vulnerable bases of today’s Colombia, changes that can be made by increasing investment in science, technology, and innovation, improving the governance of the SNCTI and the functions of the Ministry, transforming education, and demonstrating the need for an agreement to develop and harness science, technology, and innovation. Historical context on the role of knowledge in the country’s development.
For the second part of the lecture sessions, emphasis will be placed on the main proposals of the focus of Basic and Space Sciences, for example: second industrial revolution, impact of basic sciences on the environment, on culture and knowledge, on the achievement of sustainable development objectives, research centers/institutes, science diplomacy, among others.
Finally, it is planned to build a digital portfolio (which could also be printed) as a means to disseminate the above-mentioned socialization channels.
b) Actions in education at all levels (under development)
The group is working on searching possible actions/strategies that can be suggested to accelerate the implementation of some of the proposals of the focus on basic and space sciences, in relation to the transformation of education in the country, for example:
- how to impact the quality of teachers;
- how to generate mutual impacts of education and research;
- measures to generate impact on the quality of education;
- measures to promote equity in access to education;
- measures to promote the impact of science education in society in general.
The group is focusing on actions that can be implemented in the short term.
This series of posts is about the “Mission of wise men and women” follow up that has been made by working groups convened by the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. More information can be found (in Spanish) on the Academy website.