World Science Day for Peace and Development

11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Science for and with Society

Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.
By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.
In 2020, at the time when the global COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrated the critical role of science in addressing global challenges, the focus of the World Science Day is on Science for and with Society. To celebrate the 2020 World Science Day, UNESCO will organize an online roundtable on the theme of “Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19”.
Join the conversation with the hashtag #ScienceDay.

Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19

6 November 2020, 1 pm to 3 pm (GMT+1)
To celebrate the 2020 World Science Day for Peace and Development, UNESCO will organize an online roundtable.



This year, at a time when the world is struggling with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the World Science Day is on “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic”.
Throughout this unprecedented heath and sanitary crisis, UNESCO has endeavoured to bring science closer to society and to bolster the critically needed international scientific collaborations. From the science perspective, UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 is structured around three major pillars: promoting international scientific cooperation, ensuring access to water and supporting ecological reconstruction. 

Promoting international scientific cooperation
To tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to strengthen international and national scientific cooperation, as well as the dialogue between scientists, policymakers, private practitioners, industries and health professionals, civil society and public at large. This calls for open access to scientific knowledge and know-how, data sharing and evidence-based policy and decision making and an urgent transition to Open Science globally.

Improving access to water and sanitation
Access to clean and safe water and sanitation is critical and is indispensable to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to fight the pandemic. UNESCO provides scientific and technical advice and builds capacity for evidence-based and inclusive water policies and for the sustainable management of water resources towards ensuring access to clean and safe water and sanitation for all.

Supporting ecological reconstruction
The pressure on biodiversity and its natural habitats favour the emergence of zoonoses such as COVID-19. More than ever, there is a need to rethink the links between people and nature. UNESCO’s designated sites, such as Biosphere Reserves and Global UNESCO Geoparks, are powerful tools for bringing people closer to nature by testing and applying integrated approaches to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and sustainable development.
Let us embrace open science as a tool for making science more accessible, scientific process more inclusive and the outputs of science more readily available for all!

Fostering a global dialogue on open science

UNESCO is leading a global dialogue on Open Science, to ensure that Open Science practices meet their potential in bridging the world’s STI gaps and enabling sustainable development. 


"The current crisis should serve as a wakeup call regarding the urgency for increased financing and support of scientific research and collaboration. This concerns not only the natural sciences, but also the social and human and sciences. The virus is an all-encompassing societal issue, irreducible to epidemiological data alone, however fundamental they may be."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
Message on the occasion of World Science Day for Peace and Development 2020

Full message in PDF format:
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