Electric cars line up at the official start of the Zero Emissions Race outside the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), Switzerland.
Electric cars line up at the official start of the Zero Emissions Race outside the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), Switzerland.
Photo:UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

 

Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

The purpose of the Day is to:

  • Strengthen public awareness of the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies;
  • Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries;
  • Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies;
  • Draw attention to the challenges faced by science in raising support for the scientific endeavour.

The Day offers the opportunity to mobilize all actors around the topic of science for peace and development – from government officials to the media to school pupils. UNESCO strongly encourages all to join in celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development by organizing your own event or activity on the day.

 

2021 Theme: Building Climate-Ready Communities

The year 2021 marks 20th edition of World Science Day for Peace and Development. With climate change becoming a serious threat to the lives of billions of people and the planet, this year’s celebration will highlight the importance of “Building Climate-Ready Communities”. The objective is to bring science closer to society by highlighting some key scientific aspects and possible solutions provided by science, technology and innovation to some of the major global challenges society is facing today.

The event will build on the findings of the UNESCO Science Report. It will kick off with a keynote speech introducing some of the key challenges we face in building climate-ready communities. This will be followed by a panel discussion on climate solutions.

The Day will also be an opportunity to present the winner of the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Science Popularization.

Join the conversation with the hashtags #ScienceDay.

 

Virtual Event: Building climate-ready communities

5 November 2021, 1-3 pm (GMT+1)

The webinar will focus on climate change and its impacts on human societies around the world. The purpose is to showcase UNESCO’s work and that of some of its key partners in designing solutions to some of the challenges that human communities face in adapting to climate change.

 

Background

The organization of a focused event related to the commitment to science and society was one of the positive outcomes of the 1999 World Conference on Science in Budapest. It was considered an opportunity to reaffirm each year the commitment to attaining the goals proclaimed in the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and to follow up the recommendations of the Science Agenda: Framework for Action.

Since its proclamation by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development has generated many concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world. The Day has also helped foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict - one example being the UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO).

The rationale of celebrating a World Science Day for Peace and Development has its roots in the importance of the role of science and scientists for sustainable societies and in the need to inform and involve citizens in science. In this sense, a World Science Day for Peace and Development offers an opportunity to show the general public the relevance of science in their lives and to engage them in discussions. Such a venture also brings a unique perspective to the global search for peace and development.

The first World Science Day for Peace and Development was celebrated worldwide on 10 November 2002 under UNESCO auspices. The celebration involved many partners, such as governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, UNESCO National Commissions, scientific and research institutions, professional associations, the media, science teachers and schools.

 

Poster

2020 poster

Artificial Intelligence and Development

Science and technology have had an undeniable impact on improving living standards and increasing productivity. With the rapid technological advancement of recent years, computers are increasingly encroaching on domains that were previously considered exclusively human.

UNESCO Science Report

The UNESCO Science Report is one of the tools that countries can use to monitor progress towards the goals of Agenda 2030.

Every five years, it analyses emerging trends in science, technology and innovation policy and governance. The latest edition was published in June 2021. It documented the rapid societal transformation under way, which offers new opportunities for social and economic experimentation but also risks exacerbating social inequalities, unless safeguards are put in place.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development unites humanity in the pursuit of a common aspiration and a new path of action. The achievement of the 7 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the Agenda — while leaving no one behind — will require new development strategies and innovative resource mobilization. Emerging technologies have the potential to provide additional impetus for advancing the SDGs. The World Economic and Social Survey 2018 explores how certain new technologies can foster or hinder sustainable development and identifies policy measures that can expand potential benefits and mitigate any potential adverse effects on sustainable development. 

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.