In Step with the UN on Science for Sustainable Development

November 15, 2022
by ISR Staff
Blog

For a United Nations discussion of the role of science in solving the world’s most urgent problems, the International Science Reserve (ISR) convened a panel of experts from the ISR network, across academic, private and public sectors. The recording is now available on-demand (viewing instructions below).

The panel was moderated by Mila Rosenthal, Executive Director of the International Science Reserve, and included:  

  • Nicholas Dirks, President & CEO, New York Academy of Sciences, ISR Executive Board Co-chair 
  • Erwin Gianchandani, Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships National Science Foundation, Federal Liaison to the ISR 
  • Tracy Marshall, University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus. Trinidad and Tobago, ISR Science Community Member 
  • Philip Nelson, Director, AI for Social Good, Google AI, ISR Executive Board Member 

The webinar was part of the United Nations General Assembly’s Science Summit, where we discussed how ISR can help in fast-moving climate and health-related crises to protect progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals – the Global Goals – and limit the damage to communities and habitats.

Mila Rosenthal (ISR) introduces the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their relationship to crises.

When a crisis hits, the International Science Reserve will help scientists in our network get additional access to specialized human and technical resources, like remote sensing, geospatial mapping and high-performance computing, so that they can apply their research for crisis response.

Here are two big takeaways from the discussion:

1. Human networks are key, and they need to include everyone to make sure that science and technology is aimed at helping the most vulnerable people and most fragile environments.

Erwin Gianchandani (NSF) on how the ISR democratizes access to resources.
Philip Nelson (Google AI) on the power of coming together.
Tracy Marshall (University of the West Indies – St. Augustine Campus) on how the ISR will support her work as a scientist.

2. You can’t just throw money at a crisis and expect rapid response solutions.  You have to learn from previous experiences and prepare in advance. 

For example, the ISR is keeping the life-saving public-private connections made during COVID-19 alive in order to prepare for the next crisis. 

Erwin Gianchandani (NSF) on why networks are just as important as money in times of crisis research.
Nicholas Dirks (NYAS) on collaboration between the public and private sector during crisis.
Tracy Marshall (University of the West Indies – St. Augustine) on valuing local contexts in disaster management research.
Philip Nelson (Google AI) on solving crisis-related problems in an open environment.

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Do you want to watch the whole webinar? Here are three steps to rewatch the panel through the ISR Science Unusual series on-demand:   

  • Register for the webinar using this link  
  • Then, click “Join Event”  
  • After logging in, select the “Schedule” menu, or the grid menu (small squares) on mobile, located at the top of your screen, then click “On Demand” 

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Researchers are invited to join our science community — a borderless global network of leading scientists from around the world. Join the community today to stay updated and learn how you can participate.

The International Science Reserve is a network of open scientific communities, bringing together specialized resources from across the globe to prepare for and help mitigate complex and urgent global crises. We focus solely on preparing and mobilizing scientists to augment existing response organizations.