World Science Day for Peace and Development 2016
World Science Day for Peace and Development 2016
Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums, their role in promoting Sustainable Development Goals
Venue: Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad (TBC)
15 November 2016
Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November each year. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate to the wider public why science is relevant to their daily lives and to engage them in debate on role of science for current global challenges like climate change and water security. Every year, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific research institutions, professional associations, universities, municipalities, the media, science teachers, schools and others are encouraged to organize their own celebration of World Science Day. Since its institutionalization, World Science Day has also generated concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world.
UNESCO Islamabad, Pakistan Science Foundation and ECO Science Foundation, had jointly organized the World Science Day 2015 successfully. This year all three partners (UNESCO, PSF & ECOSF) plan to celebrate World Science Day on 15 November 2016.
- To create awareness about the use of science for peace and development of Mankind.
- To motivate the students and community towards science education and science literacy.
- To encourage the young students to get involved in scientific research, especially the use of science for betterment of human kind by overcoming current challenges like climate change, natural disasters, food security and energy.
- Explore ideas to provide a ST&I platform for the experts and students to share their ideas related to potential technologies, strategies and business models for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
All people, especially the most vulnerable, can use knowledge and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as leverage to develop their own solutions to issues of common concern, thus making inclusive development possible. Implementation of the SDGs must rest on solid scientific foundations does not only mean that politicians, businesses and civil society should listen to what science has to say. Engaging and empowering people through science is crucial for achieving the SDGs. However, the mobilization of people largely depends on their access to knowledge and their understanding of how STI can contribute to improving their future. To pursue this agenda, some scientists will also need to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new ways of working and thinking. Science, like society, is highly diverse. Each year, World Science Day for Peace and Development offers an opportunity to demonstrate why science is relevant to people’s daily lives and to engage them in debates on related issues. In 2016, the celebration focuses on science centres and science museums to highlight their important contribution to science communication and awareness.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges mankind is facing today. In Agenda 2030 climate change is at the core of it with most of the development goals are directly or indirectly addressing the issue. Climate change is affecting the weather patterns that has an evident effect on meteorology and hydrology globally. One of the biggest crisis in Pakistan is water security. Due to climate change, monsoon patterns are changed, recurrent floods and high rate of glacier melt has been observed in Pakistan. As we are aware that energy production requires huge amount of water; supplying water requires vast amounts of energy; producing food requires enormous quantities of often scarce water; and the change in land-use from food production to alternative energy sources often has negative effects on both the price of food and the availability of water. Water security encapsulates these complex and interconnected challenges and highlights water’s centrality for achieving a larger sense of security, sustainability, development and human well-being. Many factors contribute to water security, ranging from biophysical to infrastructural, institutional, political, social and financial – many of which lie outside the water realm. In this respect, water security lies at the centre of many security areas, each of which is intricately linked to water. Addressing this goal therefore requires interdisciplinary collaboration across sectors, communities and political borders, so that the competition or potential conflicts could be mitigated. Science is at the heart of it and can play an important role in addressing the issues related to water security. The science can support from analyzing the surface and ground water patterns and related issues as well as provide support to knowledge base decision making.
Because water is ubiquitous, water and water security issues are strongly echoed in the newly adopted SDGs with water security related targets in nine out of seventeen goals (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, 14 and 15). The region also needs to implement Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR, 2015) and Paris Agreement on Climate Change (UNFCCC, 2015).
There is dire need to raise awareness of general public on these current global challenges. Museums and science centers hold a unique position in the media and political landscape as trusted information sources and are emerging as key players in climate change and water security debates. The modes of engagement with audiences, visitors, and publics allow museums to provide sensorial and affective experiences though the agency of objects and immersive environments, which facilitate an active role on the part of audiences in co-creating narratives around climate change. The museums and science centres help in to look critically at the ways in which climate change challenges the established concepts and practices of museums and science centers as places of influence, relevance, and certainty in an uncertain world. This includes, for example, the way science is produced, represented, and communicated. Recognizing the complexity and multiscalar nature of climate change entails building more effective responses that translate into action. The big task of the museum sector is not only to inform publics on the science of climate change but also to equip citizens with tactical knowledges that enable participation in actions and debates on climate change that affect their futures.
The ties between science, policy and society must be strengthened: research and development must be harnessed to help society solve critical problems such as access to energy, health care and food security. Science centres and museums are undergoing a profound evolution, from mere exhibition spaces to platforms that facilitate dialogue between the scientific community, policy makers and the society at large. They can also act as communication hubs on key issues and contribute to raising awareness, increasing engagement and encouraging participation of all citizens.
Since its foundation, UNESCO has invested great effort to promote science communication. One of the Organization’s main objectives is to mobilize and engage a broad range of stakeholders in the science policy debate. Additionally, bridging the gap between scientists, policy makers and the community is an ideal way to bring the benefits of science to the people, to contribute to socio-economic and cultural development for a sustainable future, and to establish a culture of peace and non-violence through science diplomacy.
S&T organizations under MoST, Universities, Colleges, Schools, NGOs, INGOs, Industry, PSF Science Caravans, SUPARCO, PAEC Centres and Labs, Civil Society.