Synergy: The effect of science on sustainable development

14 juni, 2011

Synergy: Teaming up scientific excellence and development relevance’ is aimed at readers who look and think beyond current issues in development cooperation. Did you know, for example, that mathematics can prevent desertification? And how important insects are for our existence? Synergy demonstrates the effect of science on sustainable development.

Knowledge institutionsThis magazine was created by the MDG Profs Platform and development organisation Hivos. The MDG Profs Platform consists of umbrella knowledge institutions (VSNU, KNAW, NWO-WOTRO, SAIL, PIE) and three Dutch Ministries (Economics, Foreign Affairs and Education). The Platform aims to increase the contribution of research and higher education to sustainable development. Hivos, the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation based in the Netherlands, wants to contribute to a fair, free and sustainable world.

Today Synergy will be presented to the Dutch Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ben Knapen. Professor Willem van Genugten, chairman of NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development and member of the MDG Profs Platform, will offer Knapen “the support of science” and, at the same time, will ask him to support science in return. The need is high. The urgency and complexity of global issues require scientific answers.

The recommendation to invest in knowledge for development was given no less than twice last year both by the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and by the Dutch Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT). The MDG Profs Platform and Hivos express the hope that Ben Knapen will take the excellent value of Dutch science for sustainable development on board when he develops his new policy.

Inspiring scientistsAnother reason for publishing Synergy is that the MDG Profs Platform and Hivos want to inspire scientists. First of all, by showing how science contributes to global development and secondly, by illustrating that research of this kind is highly challenging and deeply rewarding. The articles in Synergy demonstrate that when science and development issues are combined this can lead to excellent quality research and research results that are crucially important to society. This combination also brings fundamental and applied research closer together. In addition, it encourages knowledge sharing across disciplines and between researchers, policy makers and practice.

Synergy shows how essential research is for development. It is a call to recognize this importance.

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