Celebrated every year on 10 November, the World Science Day for Peace and Development was conceptualized by UNESCO in 2001 with the aim of highlighting the important role of science in the society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on important contemporary scientific issues.
For 2019, the Day is dedicated to the theme of "Open Science, leaving no one behind".
UNESCO New Delhi Office with Regional Center of Biotechnology (RCB), a UNESCO Category 2 Center, jointly celebrated the day on 5th November, 2019 at RCB campus, Faridabad.
The Day’s celebrations included giving a platform to the young MindSpar 2.0 competition participants to present their innovative ideas in the final round of the contest. Mindspar 2.0 was a unique ideathon competition organized by RCB and Sri Venkateswara College, where innovative ideas were invited to solve challenges faced in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for high school, undergraduate and postgraduate students in the National Capital Region (Delhi-NCR).
Referring to the theme of 2019 World Science Day, Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director said, “It is more important than ever to promote responsible science. Science that solves problems without creating new ones. Science that can create conditions for a sustainable planet. Science with results that are openly and equitably available for everyone. So that indeed we do not leave anyone behind.”
“Even though open access to scientific data is available, researchers and scientists still find it expensive to publish their research. To realize the concept of Open Science in its essence, it is important that all aspects of Open Science are comprehensively addressed to easily publish and communicate scientific knowledge”, said Dr Sudhanshu Vrati RCB Executive Director.
An introductory session on the upcoming Global Bio-India initiative (a mega international congregation of biotechnology stakeholders) and a competition with 3-minute declamations on “Open Science” by students also took place. During the tour of the RCB Campus, the visitors explored and learned about RCB’s research, its hi-tech lab and its rapidly growing campus.
Open Science is a burning issue in the scientific community, which is gaining increasing attention by the non-scientific community as well. Innovators, engineers, tech developers, both from private and public sectors are embracing the open science and open innovation concepts. It can be a game changer in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the developing countries.
UNESCO has an important role to play in raising awareness and leading the global dialogue on Open Science, ensuring that Open Science practices meet their potential in bridging the world’s Science, Technology and Innovation gaps.