World Science Forum

As a leading event of global science policy today, the World Science Forum facilitates the participation of all actors in setting out the path ahead for science, policy and society

© László Mudra - Hungarian Academy of Sciences
World Science Forum

Every two years, UNESCO, together with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) and the International Council for Science (ICSU), organizes the World Science Forum, providing a unique global platform for fruitful dialogue on new emerging issues affecting science, policy and society. It brings together over 900 scientists, policy makers, industry, representatives of the civil society and the media to set out the common tasks ahead in tackling these issues. The World Science Forum is one of the leading events of global science policy today.

The Forum focuses on:

  • Strengthening interaction between science, policy and society;
  • Facilitating and reinforcing the global networks of science, technology and innovation (STI) ministers and parliamentarians and contributing to their participation to the changing landscape of science in relation to development challenges; 
  • Encouraging better linkages between academia and industry globally; 
  • Ensuring the contribution of young scientists to the discussion on STI issues;
  • Creating an environment for collaboration;
  • Ensuring the participation of and giving visibility to scientists from developing countries.

One of the major outcomes of the Forum is a Declaration providing insights and commitment for action by the international community.

The Forum is organized on or around 10 November to mark World Science Day for Peace and Development, an internationally celebrated day dedicated to science. In celebration of this day, the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science and the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation are awarded at the World Science Forum.

Brief History: World Conference on Science


In 1999, UNESCO and ICSU organized the World Conference on Science for the Twenty-First Century: A New Commitment, in Budapest, Hungary. One of the outcomes of the conference was the Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge and Science Agenda - Framework for Action, which included the following guideline for action:

  • Science and technology policies should be implemented that explicitly consider social relevance, peace, cultural diversity and gender differences. Adequate participatory mechanisms should be instituted to facilitate democratic debate on scientific policy choices. Women should actively participate in the design of these policies.

First World Science Forum

In 2003, in follow-up to the declaration and framework for action, HAS offered to host a conference every 2 years around emerging global issues related to science, policy and society under the name of the World Science Forum. The first World Science Forum took place under the theme “Knowledge and Society”.

Budapest +10

In November 2009, the theme of the World Science Forum was a 10-year review of follow-up to the World Conference on Science. The Forum analysed how many countries had adopted the new social contract for science over the previous decade and to what effect. More information

Further follow-up initiatives

The World Conference on Science gave rise to a number of global initiatives and networks sponsored by UNESCO:

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