Science day

World Science Day for Peace and Development

10 November

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.

plant research

What UNESCO does for science, peace and development

Science for a sustainable future
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science
Science, Policy and Society
Supporting refugee researchers

2022 theme and celebration

The theme of World Science Day on 10 November 2022 is Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. It is being celebrated within the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, which kicked off on 8 July 2022.

UNESCO’s Celebration

An online webinar will bring together six eminent scientists from around the world and from different fields of basic science will discuss how their research has contributed to solving problems related to sustainable development. it will be held in English, French and Spanish

About the theme: Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development

The applications of basic sciences are vital for advances in medicine, industry, agriculture, water resources, energy planning, environment, communications and culture’, affirmed the United Nations General Assembly on 2 December 2021, when it endorsed the proposal for an International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. World Science Day is contributing to the Year in 2022 by celebrating this theme.

We need more basic science to achieve The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals’, the United Nations General Assembly noted in December 2021. It is true that the share of domestic research expenditure devoted to basic sciences varies widely from one country to another. According to data from the UNESCO Science Report 2021 for 86 countries, some devote less than 10% of their research expenditure to basic sciences and others more than 30%.

Having a capacity in basic sciences is in the interests of both developed and developing countries, given the potential for applications to foster sustainable development and raise standards of living. For example, a growing number of people around the world suffer from diabetes. Thanks to laboratory studies of the ways in which genes can be manipulated to make specific protein molecules, scientists are able to engineer genetically a common bacterium, Escherichia coli, to produce synthetic human insulin.

Participate in World Science Day 2022

World Science Day is co-ordinated each year by UNESCO, which is also the lead United Nations agency for sciences and the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.

Scientists, science communicators and science enthusiasts are encouraged to prepare their own events to celebrate World Science Day. To this end, UNESCO has prepared a poster which may be downloaded or printed in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. There is also a blank version which may serve as the basis for posters in other languages.

The following are some suggestions of how you can contribute to World Science Day through your institution:

  • If you are a researcher, organize an open day for the public at your university or research centre with an accompanying programme; this programme may include activities such as:
    • a tour of your laboratories and other facilities dedicated to basic research for the general public and/or for middle- and high-school pupils that includes a hands-on experience or demonstration of your work;
    • a series of popular lectures, such as in the conversational format of TED talks.
  • If you are a science popularizer, organize an exhibition at your science museum or science centre on the theme of basic science for sustainable development, or one component of basic science, such as how basic research in chemistry can foster sustainable development;
  • If you are either of the above or simply a science enthusiast, record a short video explainer with concrete examples of the ways in which basic science has contributed to sustainable development and post this video on social media.

You may have your own ideas. Please share them with us, so that we can include these on our webpages. Your ideas may inspire others!

World Science Day Poster (2022) - multilingual
10 November 2022

The poster is available in the 6 official UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian). A blank version is available to accommodate other languages.

Thumbnail of 2022 World Science Day poster
Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
10 November 2022

"Basic sciences can and should be our best allies to respond to contemporary challenges. During  this  decisive  time  of  climate  disruption, supporting  scientific  development  and fostering scientific understanding is no longer an option, it is a necessity."

"Today, on World Science Day for Peace and Development, let’s harness the potential of open science – not only to limit the impact of climate change, but also to shape a fairer and more peaceful world. Because we succeed or fail together, and we cannot afford to fail."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General

Read more

UNESCO Science Report: the race against time for smarter development; executive summary

About World Science Day

From the universe expanding to the phones in our pockets, science is everywhere. Each year, on 10 November, the World Science day for Peace and Development helps us remember this fact and offers an opportunity for everyone to engage in scientific debates and activities.

The Day marks an occasion to mobilize all actors around the topic of science for peace and development – from government officials to the media to school pupils. By linking science more closely with society, science is made accessible to all and broadens our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home. It becomes also a more solid stepping-stone towards making our societies more sustainable.

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 objectives of World Science Day for Peace and Development are to:

Strengthen public awareness

of the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies

Promote national and international solidarity

for shared knowledge and scientific cooperation

Renew national and international commitment

for the use of science for the benefit of societies

Draw attention to the challenges faced by science

and raising support for scientific endeavours

Science, a human right

Everyone has a right to participate in and benefit from science. We must find ways to improve access to science and to the benefits of science for sustainable development.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Article 27 states that:

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers

The UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers is an important standard-setting instrument which not only codifies the goals and value systems by which science operates, but also emphasizes that these need to be supported and protected if science is to flourish. A first Recommendation was adopted in 1974, and a revised Recommendation was adopted on 13 November 2017, superseding the 1974 text. This Recommendation has a particular value today, including for developing countries in building up their scientific skills and institutions.

The Recommendation upholds the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - that everyone has the right  to participate in and benefit from science - and provides a useful checklist of political and institutional requirements to ensure access to science education, and fundamental rights such as the right to be a scientists, to protect intellectual property, to share scientific advancements and accademic freedom.


Past Edition
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