UN Scientific Advisory Board Releases New Report
September 19, 2016  //  By:   //  Blog Post, Featured, Publication  //  No Comment

cover_unsg-sab_report_en_sabTo tackle increasingly complex global challenges like climate change, the international community needs to embrace new approaches to problem solving. In their recent publication, The Future of Scientific Advice to the United Nations, Chairwoman Irina Bokova and the 26 renowned scientists of the UN Scientific Advisory Board argue that, “Science without policy can be scattered and often fruitless. Policy without science usually fails to accomplish the immediate goal, and undermines confidence that the next policy will be any better. When science and policy unite, the chances of success increase greatly.”

The Board’s publication provides of summary of its work since 2013, including specific concrete recommendations that the UN and other institutions would do well to implement. Overall, the Board’s work focuses on bringing well researched scientific perspectives to cutting edge global challenges and sustainable development. This new report features work on the science-policy-society interface, gender inequality, the data revolution, and more.

Among its primary findings and recommendations, the board argues for:

  • the integration of science into global problem solving, all the way from understanding the problem to implementing the solution
  • enhancing the science-policy-society interface
  • the UN promoting greater global collaboration among science networks so that scientists can have a greater role in policy formulation

The John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston was critical in the creation of the report. As Dean David Cash said,“When Professor Ivanova first suggested a role for McCormack in drafting a report of such global significance, we jumped at the opportunity. We were able to persuade one of her colleagues on the Board, Dr. Susan Avery, president emerita of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and another extraordinarily talented scientist, to join the team.”

At Umass Boston, Professor Maria Ivanova and Visiting Fellow Susan Avery, President Emerita of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, (both members of the Board) spent the spring and summer spearheading the drafting of the report. Dr. Avery said, “The final report reflects the deep and animated discussions we had in our meetings of the science advisory board on challenges that confront our planet and global society.   The science-policy-society interface, a core component of the McCormack School philosophy, is critical to finding solutions to these global challenges.”

For the full report: la version française; la versión espagñola.


About the Author :

Michael Denney is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is a Research Associate at the Center for Governance and Sustainability.

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