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 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.
2020 Theme: Science for and with Society
This year, at a time when the world is struggling with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of World Science Day is on “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.”
Throughout this unprecedented health crisis, UNESCO, as the UN Agency with the field of science in its mandate, has endeavoured to bring science closer to society and to bolster the critically needed international scientific collaborations. From the science perspective, UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 is structured around three major pillars: promoting international scientific cooperation, ensuring access to wate,r and supporting ecological reconstruction.
To celebrate the 2020 World Science Day, UNESCO is organizing an online roundtable on the theme of “Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19.”
Join the conversation with the hashtags #ScienceDay.
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).
Science for and with Society
In 2020, at the time when the global COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrated the critical role of science in addressing global challenges, the focus of the World Science Day is on Science for and with Society. To celebrate the 2020 World Science Day, UNESCO will organize an online roundtable on the theme of “Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19”.
Promoting international scientific cooperation
To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to strengthen international and national scientific cooperation, as well as the dialogue between scientists, policymakers, private practitioners, industries and health professionals, civil society and public at large. This calls for open access to scientific knowledge and know-how, data sharing and evidence-based policy and decision making and an urgent transition to Open Science globally.
Improving access to water and sanitation
Access to clean and safe water and sanitation is critical and is indispensable to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to fight the pandemic. UNESCO provides scientific and technical advice and builds capacity for evidence-based and inclusive water policies and for the sustainable management of water resources towards ensuring access to clean and safe water and sanitation for all.