Making Policy out of Scientific Bricks, not Straw

October 4, 2016by Admin

By Zakri Abdul Hamid

Zakri Abdul Hamid is science advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, serves on the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board, and on the Governing Council of a new UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. He co-chairs Malaysia’s Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council, and was the founding Chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct 3 2016 (IPS) – Given the enormity of the challenges confronting humanity, the world’s investment in science, technology and innovation is woefully inadequate.

In 2014, we had been asked to take stock of global challenges and provide recommendations related to science, technology and innovation (STI) that would enlighten the work and decisions of the United Nations.That was a key message I helped deliver Sunday September 18 to Ban Ki-moon in a summary report of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board — a group of two dozen scientists from around the world who met with Mr. Ban for one final meeting in New York before he steps down December 31.

And, at the end of our mission, the SAB’s labelled science an essential component – in many cases the bedrock – of an effective strategy for policy and decision-making that deserves to be valued more highly and used effectively at all levels and at three crucial phases: understanding the problems, formulating policies, and ensuring that those policies are implemented effectively. “Science,” the report says, “makes policy out of brick, not straw.”

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