Science and Technology

man launching a drone

A few developing nations are exhibiting stronger capabilities to use, adopt and adapt frontier technologies than their per capita GDPs would suggest, but most are lagging behind, according to an index of 158 countries in UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report 2021. Frontier technologies are those that take advantage of digitalization and connectivity. They include artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, big data, blockchain, 5G, 3D printing, robotics, drones, gene editing, nanotechnology and solar photovoltaic.

The portraits of the five winners and the logo of the Prize.

UNESCO and the L'Oréal Foundation honoured five women researchers in the fields of astrophysics, mathematics, chemistry and informatics as part of the 23rd International Prize for Women in Science.  UNESCO’s global study on gender equality in scientific research, shows that although the number of women in scientific research has risen to one in three, women remain a minority. Every year women write as many scientific articles as men, but their chances of appearing in prestigious journals are lower, as are their seats on national science academies around the world.

Despite a shortage of skills in technological fields that are driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still only account for 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics, according to the forthcoming UNESCO Science Report whose chapter on gender in

collage of four women scientists

It will soon be a year since WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. By now, every corner of the world has felt the devastating impact of the pandemic, and women and girls in science are on the front lines of response. They are healthcare workers and innovators. They are researching vaccines and pioneering treatments. They are leading us toward a safer world, and inspiring the next generation of girls to be forces of good in science and tech. This 11 February, we’re celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science by highlighting just some of the women and girls around the world who have made tremendous contributions during the ongoing crisis.

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ITU is inviting contributions for special issues of the ITU Journal on Future and Evolving Technologies, which provides complete coverage of all communications and networking paradigms.

drawing of people working on screen

UNIDO has contributed to a series of pilot online training workshops to build national capacity on science, technology and innovation in developing countries.

New technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, big data, and networks are expected to revolutionize production processes, but they could also have a major impact on developing economies. IMF research finds that new technology risks widening the gap between rich and poor countries by shifting more investment to advanced economies where automation is already established.

Illustration of the programme with a drawn profile and geometric lines.

The UNESCO-Russia Mendeleev International Prize in the Basic Sciences aims promotes and honours excellence in science and celebrates its role in the advance of sustainable development.  

A hand holds a beaker against a periodic chart of elements.

Scientific discoveries and advances must be shared, according to the Declaration in favour of “open science”, science that is unhindered by barriers and frontiers, which was made jointly on 27 October by UNESCO, WHO and OHCHR. The COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates the urgent need to strengthen scientific cooperation and to guarantee the fundamental right of universal access to scientific progress and its applications. The open science movement aims to make science more accessible, more transparent and ultimately more effective.

Over 2,000 participants from the data user and producer communities will come together this month to discuss some of the greatest data challenges in our changing world.

Graphic portraying open science.

UNESCO submitted a draft recommendation on Open Science to its 193 Member States, a major step in facilitating international cooperation and universal access to scientific knowledge. The draft notes the potential of Open Science and highlights its importance in reducing the digital, technological, gender and knowledge divides that separate not only countries but people living in the same place. The successful transition to Open Science, outlined in the preliminary draft requires a change in scientific culture from competition to collaboration.

رجل يحاول قراءة شاشة تلفونه المحمول تحت أشعة الشمش

UNDP reports on how digital finance can be harnessed in ways that empower citizens as taxpayers and investors to better align people’s money with their needs, collectively expressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the pandemic demonstrates the immediate benefits of digital finance, the disruptive potential of digitalization in transforming finance is immense. Mobile payment technologies have transformed mobile phones into financial tools for more than a billion people.

Man looks at his mobile phone while a woman waits with a basket of food at the marketplace.

One of the most striking images of the coronavirus pandemic is the contrast between farmers dumping milk, smashing eggs, and ploughing vegetables back into the soil and consumers facing empty store shelves and long lines at food distribution centres. How is it possible to have over-abundance on one hand and scarcity on the other? The World Bank argues that the digital revolution can accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable food future by collecting, using, and analysing machine-readable data.

Man looks at his mobile phone while standing in a field of tall grass.

Crises have a way of urging people to develop new tools to help them resist disaster. IFAD-funded projects in north-eastern Brazil, carry on their work by using remote technical assistance to respond to participants’ questions and solve problems. Project staff also realized that the current situation presented an opportunity to gather some much-needed data: consistent data on project performance and the impacts of COVID-19. Due to the preventive measures, surveys were conducted using smartphones.

Statue of three kids sitting down looking down at their mobile phones.

OHCHR reports on human rights-centred recommendations, by a coalition of 50 cities worldwide, to guide leaders as they use digital technology in response to crises such as COVID 19.