Some means to articulate science and the needs of societies, expressed by SDGs.
Reminder: we are now reading the first part of Chapter 3 of the science report about SDGs The Future is Now.
Today’s post will be a bit long, as it will be devoted to the guidance for science from the SDGs.
Curiosity driven science
As we already wrote, IYBSSD 2022 will be fully devoted to promoting the importance of curiosity driven science to progress toward the SDGs. You rarely know in advance what could come out of basic research.
However, it is every scientist responsibility to think about how her research, its outcomes, or the way it is done can have an impact. Even very abstract research (and IYBSSD 2022 will provide a great opportunity to put examples under the spotlights).
Not what to do, but how
What is really interesting in the report we are reading is that the authors do not write about what scientists should (or shouldn’t) do according to Agenda 2030. Instead, they propose how to decide it. They give a list of means that can be used to sustain the necessary long-lasting conversation between scientists and all other stakeholders.
Some of these means exist already. Perhaps they could be used more, or expanded. Some of them, such as science diplomacy, have already been discussed previously in this report.
Science can support and be guided by the 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Goals and inherent trade-offs and co-benefits. Engagement on behalf of the Goals can be facilitated by:
A knowledge platform – A globally coordinated, and United Nations supported, knowledge platform that enables country-by-country collection, synthesis, and public sharing of the rapidly growing – but fragmented – body of scientific knowledge relevant for sustainable development. The structure could be matrix of Sustainable Development Goals, targets, and interactions integrating local, national, and global levels of observation.
Expert panels – Permanent national and international scientific expert panels and advisory councils for sustainable development. Examples include the German Advisory Council on Global Change or the recently appointed French Defense Council on ecology and South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council. Governments can also appoint chief scientific advisors.
Science-policy networks – Dedicated, long-term sciencepolicy networks, global South-North collaborations and communities of practice. Examples include the International Network for Government Science Advice, operating under the auspices of the International Science Council.
Science diplomacy – Science diplomacy is primarily the intentional application of sciences, both natural and social, or scientific expertise in furtherance of diplomatic objectives. While science diplomacy emerged in the cold war era as the major actors projected soft power, it now encompasses a body of knowledge that can be used by both large and small, by both developing and developed countries.
Science – society co-learning mechanism – Collaboration in which scientists and societal actors at local, thematic, city and national level innovate sustainable solutions and develop, test and practice new routines in everyday life and business.
Research outreach – Funding research outreach activities and collaboration with cultural and wider educational institutions, to engage in common art exhibitions, for example, film screenings, panel discussions and research fairs.
Media skills – Major investment in the development and maintenance of public and private media skills in science journalism and communications.