Meet S4D4C at the World Science Forum 2019 in Budapest

The World Science Forum (WSF) 2019 is taking place in Budapest at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 20-23 November. The main theme of the event, also in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1999 World Conference of Science, will be “Science, Ethics and Responsibility” with a prominent sub-theme of “20 Years in Science Diplomacy”. Four days of intense discussions provide an opportunity for scientists, policy-makers, society, industry, and science communicators to be challenged from an ethical standpoint in the plenary sessions and allow for more technical debates over issues of science in thematic sessions.

With this specific focus on science diplomacy, WSF 2019 provides a perfect opportunity for the S4D4C project to provide insights into the topic as well as to highlight our project outcomes. Therefore, S4D4C will be present at the event in the form of a thematic session, organised by S4D4C in cooperation with UNESCO under the title:

Science Diplomacy for Global Challenges: International Frames, Norms and Ethical Principles

This joint thematic session will provide a platform to discuss the role of normative instruments in promoting science as a global public good to be able to address global challenges and ethical issues deriving from its advancement.

In particular, the session will present cases of the use of normative instruments to address science diplomacy issues in particular in the field of water diplomacy, climate change, food security and bioethics, as well as for responsible research and science at large. More details are provided on https://worldscienceforum.org/programme/2019-11-22-thematic-sessions-iv-e-science-diplomacy-for-global-challenges-international-frames-norms-and-ethical-principles-141.

Date of the session: Friday, 22 November 2019
Time: 17:00-18:30 hrs
Venue: Large Lecture Hall

The session is coordinated by Mitchell Young, Elke Dall (both S4D4C) and Ana Persic (UNESCO) and includes the following participants (in alphabetical order):

If you are interested to discuss the S4D4C work with us there, please feel invited to drop us a note at contact@s4d4c.eu!

Abstract of the thematic session:

There is no doubt that science technology and innovation (STI) act as the most critical driver and enabler of the wellbeing of people and the planet. They also play a pivotal role in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Normative instruments play a key role in framing the spectrum of actions, principles and norms to  use science responsibly for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and to give everyone the right “to share scientific advancement and its benefits” as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 27).

There are several examples of normative instruments adopted by UNESCO that aim at guiding and framing different science diplomacy and ethics issues such as The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997), the International Declaration on Human Genetic Data (2003); the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005); the Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change (2017), the updated Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (2017).

In addition to these, as discussions advance in the field of artificial intelligence and open science, UNESCO is considering two new Recommendations, on the ethics of Artificial Intelligence and on Open Science, respectively.

The European Union has also placed an emphasis on the SDGs in its foreign policy aims and has stated the importance of addressing values, not just interests, in its most recent global strategy. The S4D4C project (Science for/in Diplomacy for Addressing Global Challenges) funded through its Horizon 2020 programme examines nine cases of European science diplomacy efforts and uses them to inform future possibilities for engaging these global challenges through new instruments, interfaces, governance frameworks and training.

To guarantee that STI truly benefits society, ethical considerations of science as a global public good is critical. In addition, in a world that is more and more interconnected, scientific concerns increasingly fall into complex foreign policy issues related to climate change, water management, bioethics, food security. In this context, the role of science diplomacy is critical, especially as a means to connect scientific with ethical considerations worldwide.

The thematic session will provide a platform to discuss the role of normative instruments in promoting science as a global public good to be able to address global challenges and ethical issues deriving from its advancement.

In particular, the session will present cases of the use of normative instruments to address science diplomacy issues in particular in the field of water diplomacy, climate change, food security and bioethics, as well as for responsible research and science at large.


There is still more to look out for at WSF 2019 and opportunities to discuss with different stakeholders!

The theme of science diplomacy is addressed throughout the programme, for example:

Posted by Marie Croce