Scientists at national academies aren’t doing as much as they can to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, according to a new survey from the InterAcademy Partnership, a global association of 130 national and regional science and health academies.
“Academies and academic societies can provide a wealth of research expertise and insight, which is presently underutilized,” said University of Melbourne Psychologist Eva Alisic, co-chair of the InterAcademy Partnership Working Group on Improving Scientific Input to Global Policymaking in a press release. “If deployed effectively, they can play their part in supporting the sustainable development goals as independent sources of peer-reviewed knowledge.”
The partnership released a guide that Alisic and others hoped could raise awareness of the UN’s goals among scientists, policymakers and other leaders.
The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals range from ending poverty and hunger to fighting climate change.
Many researchers at science academies currently work as advisors to policymakers on matters of science, including sustainable development goals. Others are investigating the problems associated with the goals.
But academies’ activities are not necessarily always aligned with government’s pursuit of the goals, whether through lawmaking, procurement, regulations and other functions. Science academies, however, are in the unique position of having a bully pulpit from which they can call for more concerted action using their unique technical expertise, the survey found.