Can we align Science, Technology and Innovation to the Sustainable Development Goals in Low and Middle-Income Country contexts? The quest for meaningful questions.
– Ine Steenmans, Tommaso Ciarli and Joanna Chataway
31 March 2020
Science, technology and innovation (STI) are often invoked as essential to addressing some of the most serious of threats to our world. A common narrative is optimistic about the contribution that new science and technologies can make; scientific advances and innovative applications are what give us access to cleaner energy supply, new medications, new vaccines to control a virus pandemic, and more accessible public infrastructures. Consideration of negative externalities or the need to actively steer science and technology in certain directions mostly do not feature.
This is certainly a time when there is global awareness of the multiple, shared challenges that require large scale action within the near term. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide us with a single shared reference point to what 17 of the most pressing issues faced across the world are. Given STI’s history of changing the fundamental structures of society, the potential for positive impact and the need to avoid further environmental and societal harm, it is unsurprising to find that there is particular interest in asking: how can we steer STI to better align with the SDGs?
The STRINGS project starts from the premise that