Partners and Contributors
Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is the ambitious program that the Member States of the United Nations have agreed on to ensure a balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the planet.
Basic sciences have an important contribution to make to the implementation of this program. They provide the essential means to meet crucial challenges such as universal access to food, energy, health coverage and communication technologies. They enable us to understand the impact of the currently nearly 8 billion people on the planet and to act to limit, and sometimes even to reduce it: depletion of the ozone layer, climate change, depletion of natural resources, extinction of living species.
Applications of technology are easy to recognize. On the other hand, contributions of basic, curiosity-based, sciences are not well appreciated. They are nonetheless at the basis of major technological advances that stimulate innovation, as well as essential for training future professionals and for developing capacity of populations who can take part in decisions that affect their future. UNESCO is well aware of this: its Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, revised in 2017, recalls the importance of bringing together politicians, scientists, diplomats, international organizations, entrepreneurs and every goodwill person.
The International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, that we organize in 2022, focuses on these links between basic sciences and the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a unique opportunity to convince all stakeholders that through a basic understanding of nature, actions taken will be more effective, for the common good.
Michel Spiro, President of IUPAP
Basic sciences have been instrumental in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the basic sciences that allowed us to know that the infection is caused by a virus, what the virus looks like, what the genetic sequence and its variations are.
Basic sciences are instrumental in all areas of our lives: even the World Wide Web, which you are using right now, was invented at CERN out of the need for global collaboration on fundamental physics experiments, and it was developed using powerful algorithms.
The International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development 2022 is a key moment of mobilization to convince economic and political leaders, as well as every citizen, of the importance of taking into account and mastering basic sciences to ensure a balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the planet.
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