Freelance journalist, SciDev.Net
After three days of debates, the 7th Conference of the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) ended on 26 February. The Conference – hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, at the beautiful Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – called together more than 160 scientists from 51 countries, to discuss the role of science on poverty eradication and sustainable development.
The most important outcome of the conference was the Rio 2013 Letter, which is a summary of the ideas and proposals made by the scientists and members of science academies from all over the world during those three days. The document contains a plan of action for science academies to collaborate in addressing the world’s grand challenges, and to help achieve the post-2015 development goals.
While the second day of the conference was dedicated to identifying the world’s biggest challenges, with the ‘Challenge Labs’, the last day was the time to find solutions. Speakers talked about what science academies can do to tackle poverty, and the audience listened to successful stories from developing countries.
On both days, attendants were able to engage in discussions, exchange experiences and learn lessons from other countries on how to solve problems as complex as climate change, food security, health, energy, water and sanitation.
There was also a big focus on science literacy, with recommendations for science academies to take actions to promote science education and science communication, the basis of science and technology systems in any country.
After this conference, the feeling was that there is a long way to go on the fight to reduce the world’s poverty, but that science academies can be key in overcoming the challenges faced by society.
This blog post is part of our coverage of 2013 Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) conference which takes place 24-26 February 2013, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To read further news and analysis please visit our website.