World Science Day for Peace and Development (WSDPD) is celebrated on 10th November every year worldwide. It is also known as World Science Day. The day aims to raise awareness about the importance of science in society, highlights the need to link science with our day to day life, and also encourages people to participate in scientific issues.
World Science day for Peace and Development ensures that citizens are kept informed of developments and new innovations in science and technologies. This day marks an understanding of the role that our scientists play in widening the understanding of our planet and making our societies more sustainable.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared World Science day back in 2001 and was celebrated first in 2002. Since then, it has been supported by many global governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as scientific and research institutions.
The WSDPD has the following objectives:
- To create awareness among the public about the role of science in the development of a peaceful and sustainable society.
- To encourage National and International unity for shared science between countries.
- To renew National and International commitments for using scientific innovations to the benefit of societies;
- To find out the challenges faced by science and raising support for scientific projects.
World Science Day for Peace and Development has been helpful in generating many projects, programs, and funding for science. It has also strengthened cooperation between scientists living in regions affected by conflict – For example, UNESCO supported the creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO).
Every year, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated with a different theme.
Last year the theme was “Open Science, leaving no one behind “ whereas the theme for 2020 is “Science for and with Society”. This year, UNESCO is celebrating via online mode and is doing a Roundtable on “Science for and with Society in dealing with COVID-19,” theme. The 2020 Roundtable aims at sharing new ideas with UNESCO to improve the link between science and society to solve global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this corona crisis, UNESCO has been working hard to bring science closer to society. It has also supported international scientific collaborations. From the perspective of science, UNESCO’s response to COVID-19 has structured around three major pillars:
- Promoting international scientific cooperation
To manage the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO aims to support scientific cooperation. It also plans to promote the conversation between researchers, private practitioners, industries, health professionals, and the public. The aim is to provide open access to scientific knowledge, data, and hypothesis to everyone. Open science can bring positive changes in society.
- Improving access to water and sanitation
Billions of people don’t have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for safe water. UNESCO calls for increased access to clean and safe water which is necessary to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to fight the pandemic. UNESCO provides scientific and technical advice and develops water policies and helps in the sustainable management of water resources to provide access to clean water and sanitation for all.
- Supporting ecological reconstruction
Destruction of natural habitats increases the spread of infection from animals to humans. COVID-19 spread is also an example of such Zoonotic disease. This highlights the need to rethink the links between people and nature. To help people understand more about nature, UNESCO has provided some sites, such as Biosphere Reserves and Global UNESCO Geoparks. These sites provide information on integrated approaches to conserve the world’s cultural, biological, and geological diversity and promote sustainable economic development.
UNESCO calls on everyone to exercise their human right to participate in World Science Day for Peace and Development and benefit from science.