TITLE

The contribution of the sciences, technology and innovation to sustainable development: the application of sustainability science from the perspective of UNESCO's experience

AUTHOR(S)
Aricò, Salvatore
PUB. DATE
October 2014
SOURCE
Sustainability Science;Oct2014, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p453
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Report
ABSTRACT
The contribution of scientific knowledge and innovation to sustainability is demonstrated. Theory, discoveries, programmes and activities in both the natural as well as social sciences fields have greatly helped with the environmental, economic and social challenges of the past and current centuries, especially in the past 50 years or so. Nowadays, we increasingly realize the intimate link between science and society, and the need not only for science to inform policy but also to address requests by governments and the multiple stakeholders confronted with the challenge to achieve sustainable development. Current barriers to how science is conceived and related education is delivered hamper true interdisciplinarity, and the emerging field of sustainability science attempts inter alia to clarify how 'a new generation of science' can be designed so as to promote more integrated thinking to tackle complex societal issues. At the international level, and more specifically in the context of the United Nations, the practice of science has always entailed the need to solve problems such as climate change, ozone depletion, disaster risk, lack of food security, biodiversity loss, social instability and ineffective governance-to cite a few. In this regard, science in an intergovernmental context is by definition science that has to assist with the struggle for sustainability. Yet, a higher level of integration and cross-fertilization among disciplines as well as of participation among concerned stakeholders in the design and implementation of science-based programmes and activities carried out by the United Nations (and, in this article, the specific case of its Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-UNESCO-is presented) seems to be needed. The debate on sustainability science carried out in the academic circle and the experience of UNESCO in this area can be mutually supportive in further elucidating how, practically, the approach of sustainability science can enhance the achievement of sustainable development at multiple scales.
ACCESSION #
99019579

 

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