2022: Year Dedicated to Raising Awareness on Importance of Basic Sciences

Basic sciences are a prerequisite for sustainable development as they have an important contribution in providing the essential means to meet crucial challenges such as universal access to food, energy, health coverage and communication technologies. Basic Sciences enable us to understand the impact of the currently nearly 8 billion people on the planet and to act to limit, and sometimes even to reduce it: depletion of the ozone layer, climate change, depletion of natural resources, extinction of living species.

The 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is the road map to global well-being for current and future generations. The SDGs, among other things, point to better education opportunities, gender equality, clean water, affordable and clean energy, and a healthy environment. Basic sciences can aid in identifying mechanisms for correctly applying knowledge and transferring technology. They can also facilitate international research collaboration and dialogue across disciplines and countries, including developing nations. Increased awareness of basic sciences is expected to increase opportunities for discoveries that can improve human well-being within the context of sustainable development.

To show the ways in which curiosity-driven research is vital to ensure good health for all, overcome hunger, fight climate change, preserve terrestrial and marine biodiversity, increase world peace and fight inequalities, the year 2022 has been proclaimed as an International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD) by the United Nations. Throughout the year, researchers from all disciplines will reach out to the general public and decision-makers, both public and private, to support the development of basic sciences, particularly in areas where they are still underdeveloped. IYBSSD2022 encourages exchanges between scientists and stakeholders, whether from grassroots communities or political decision-makers and international leaders, associations, students and local authorities.

The IYBSSD2022, a global event, will take place in different countries and online, including via social media. The year has been structured around different events addressing, inter alia, the following themes:

  • Strengthening the presence and the visibility of women
  • Basic sciences as sources of international dialogue and peace
  • Science as a global public good
  • Innovation and economic development
  • Education and human development
  • Meeting global challenges

The main topics of IYBSSD2022 are as follows:

  • Enhancing inclusive participation in science: The participation of all individuals who wish to, whatever their origin, their social or geographical position, or their gender, is essential for the progress of basic sciences.
  • Strengthening education and scientific training: Science education from an early age gives an appetite for research and encourages people to pursue scientific careers, which is essential for the development of humanity. Moreover, the scientific methods and curiosity can be brought to many other areas of personal, professional and social life, which contributes to the education of responsible and autonomous citizens.
  • Financing basic sciences: In many regions of the world, countries have committed to devote up to 1% or even 3% of their GDP to financing R&D programmes. Indeed, some examples show that such expenses allow the development of the economy and international influence. However, most are far from their goals.
  • Generalize open science: Open science is primary to developing scientific research and innovation to meet Sustainable Development Goals worldwide. Dissemination of basic science results and all the documents necessary for their production is of major importance.

The year will officially open in July 2022 with the opening ceremony at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The official closing ceremony will be held in June 2023 at CERN in Geneva.

This is a unique opportunity to convince all stakeholders that actions taken will be more effective through a basic understanding of nature for the common good. IYBSSD2022 is a crucial moment of mobilisation to convince economic and political leaders and every citizen of our dependence on basic science to ensure the planet's balanced, sustainable and inclusive development.


For more details: https://www.iybssd2022.org/en/home/

Subodh Kumar