Dr Aparajita Banerjee talks at side event of UN STI Forum 2021 “Harnessing Science for a Sustainable Future”- 0rganized by Springer Nature and the UN SDSN

Side Event UN STI Forum: May 3, 2021 – 7:45AM – 9:00AM EDT

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about mass global disruption – devastating our health systems, bringing many economies to a near standstill, and upending our ways of living and working. It has also presented a significant setback to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, it has also paved the way for more science-informed decision-making, enabling the research, scientific, and policy communities to join together like never before, and proving the importance of interdisciplinary approaches to combating the crisis, developing effective policies, and accelerating innovation. In a matter of months, vaccines were developed, new data and technologies were created to track and help stem the spread of the disease, and governments worked at breakneck speed to develop evidence-based policies and measures to limit the human and economic costs of COVID-19. The pandemic has also demonstrated that the often siloed policy and scientific communities can work together in integrating scientific knowledge into the policymaking agenda to achieve real change and impact.

During this year’s sixth annual UN Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), Springer Nature and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) will co-host a side event in which leading researchers, academics, and policymakers will debate how to continue to bridge the divide between their communities to build resiliency post-COVID-19 and accelerate innovation on the SDGs. The debate will include a discussion of practical and interdisciplinary approaches to tackling the COVID-19 crisis and recovery efforts and how these can be used to establish more effective and innovative pathways for the SDGs moving forward. It will also highlight recommendations from a forthcoming white paper authored by SDSN and Springer Nature that will be released on the day of the event on how to foster greater collaboration and inclusive problem-solving between the scientific and policy communities to accelerate innovation and progress on sustainable development.


Opening Remarks and keynote by María Cortés Puch, Vice President of Networks at SDSN

Debate on How to Continue to Bridge the Scientific and Policy Divide Post-COVID-19

  • Moderated by Laura Helmuth, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American. Panelists include:
    • Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief, Nature
    • Cameron Allen, Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Senior Advisor, SDSN TReNDS
    • David Smith, Director of the Center for Environmental Management, University of West Indies, and Coordinator of the Institute for Sustainable Development 
    • Aparajita Banerjee, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin


Harnessing Science for a Sustainable Future: Narrowing the Policy, Research, and Community Divide, highlighted during the event that presents recommendations on how to foster greater collaboration between these communities. Download your copy here.

A recording of the event is also now available to watch: Keynote and Panel Discussion