Monash part of high-level scientific advisory group on global policymaking

Prof. Li Jinghai, Prof. Robbert Dijkgraaf, and Dr Eva Alisic. Picture courtesy of Tom Arrison, IAP.

Monash University is playing a key part in a new international scientific partnership, which will support science’s role in tackling significant sustainable development challenges.

Monash senior research fellow Dr Eva Alisic has been appointed co-chair of the prestigious InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) project that is a collaboration of leading science, medical and engineering academies from around the world –  highlighting Monash’s global approach to tackling  real world challenges through pioneering research.

The IAP has launched a new three-year project, conducted in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS; Princeton) and sponsored by Carnegie Corporation New York, to explore how to strengthen scientific input to the United Nations, governments, and other stakeholders  - aimed at achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Officially known as Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs are 169 aspirational targets for sustainable human development covering issues such as ending poverty and hunger, ensuring healthy lives and quality education, combatting climate change, and protecting the global  environment.

IAP President Robbert Dijkgraaf, who is IAS director and Leon Levy professor at Princeton University said: “The UN’s 2030 Agenda is a well-articulated, globally adopted framework. It is high-impact, high-stakes, and provides an opportunity to examine the increasingly complex landscape of  global science advice.”

The project is expected to provide useful insight to the academies and the wider scientific and policymaking communities. Fellow co-chair of the IAP project committee and vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Li Jinghai, said that it can help ensure that science plays its part  in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is unprecedented that such a prestigious inter-academy committee is co-chaired by a young scholar. Monash’s Dr Alisic came to attention in her role as co-chair of the Global Young Academy, a worldwide network of early- and mid-career researchers. The Global Young Academy has recently delivered innovative interdisciplinary reports about societal issues such as the refugee crisis in Europe, and is a strong advocate for  global and Open Science.

Dr Alisic said that her role was an exceptional opportunity, and that the IAP initiative would provide the opportunity to strengthen researchers’ contributions to global decision-making.

“This project can help foster dialogue and cooperation between providers of global scientific advice, across all disciplines, and all generations. Both established and early-career scholars are keen to make science work for society.”