Celebrated on November 10 every year, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant 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.
The purpose of the Day is to:
- Strengthen public awareness of the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies;
- Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries;
- Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies;
- Draw attention to the challenges faced by science in raising support for the scientific endeavour.
The Day offers the opportunity to mobilize all actors around the topic of science for peace and development – from government officials to the media to school pupils. UNESCO strongly encourages all to join in celebrating World Science Day for Peace and Development by organizing your own event or activity on the day.
World Science Day for Peace and Development 2021 Theme: Building Climate-Ready Communities.
The year 2021 marks 20th edition of World Science Day for Peace and Development. With climate change becoming a serious threat to the lives of billions of people and the planet, this year’s celebration will highlight the importance of “Building Climate-Ready Communities”. The objective is to bring science closer to society by highlighting some key scientific aspects and possible solutions provided by science, technology and innovation to some of the major global challenges society is facing today.
The event will build on the findings of the UNESCO Science Report. It will kick off with a keynote speech introducing some of the key challenges we face in building climate-ready communities. This will be followed by a panel discussion on climate solutions.
The Day will also be an opportunity to present the winner of the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Science Popularization.
The organization of a focused event related to the commitment to science and society was one of the positive outcomes of the 1999 World Conference on Science in Budapest. It was considered an opportunity to reaffirm each year the commitment to attaining the goals proclaimed in the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and to follow up the recommendations of the Science Agenda: Framework for Action.
Since its proclamation by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day for Peace and Development has generated many concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world. The Day has also helped foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict – one example being the UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO).
The rationale of celebrating a World Science Day for Peace and Development has its roots in the importance of the role of science and scientists for sustainable societies and in the need to inform and involve citizens in science. In this sense, a World Science Day for Peace and Development offers an opportunity to show the general public the relevance of science in their lives and to engage them in discussions. Such a venture also brings a unique perspective to the global search for peace and development.
The first World Science Day for Peace and Development was celebrated worldwide on 10 November 2002 under UNESCO auspices. The celebration involved many partners, such as governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, UNESCO National Commissions, scientific and research institutions, professional associations, the media, science teachers and schools.