Overview of the STRINGS Project Workshop 2022

‘Perspectives and Policies to steer Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals’

In times of unprecedented uncertainty, there is an increasing need for open dialogue on how to direct research and innovation investments towards sustainable and inclusive solutions. The STRINGS project has been tackling this complex challenge, investigating how to better understand the ways in which science, technology and innovation (STI) impacts upon efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On Monday 28 February and Tuesday 1 March 2022, STRINGS hosted an online workshop – including presentations by the STRINGS research team on their project findings and guest speaker talks – to facilitate constructive discussions around the challenge of steering STI to address the SDGs.

Below, we provide an overview and recording of each session. We advise you to watch the recordings on desktop to view the presenters’ slides, which are unavailable on mobile view.

Session 1: Can current science, technology and innovation (STI) pathways lead to sustainable development?

Raquel Duran's live illustration of session 1

Chair: Andrew Stirling (Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex)

Opening remarks by speakers from the United Nations Development Programme (Pedro Conceição, Director of the

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Andy Stirling presents at the SDG Conference Bergen 2022

On 11 February at the fifth SDG Conference Bergen 2022, Professor Andy Stirling gave a presentation on ‘Ways of Knowing Sustainability: diversity, plurality & politics of liberatory action.’ Andy’s lecture opened Session 4 which considered how higher education and research should meet sustainability challenges. Watch Andy’s full talk below, beginning at 02:38.

Andy’s talk focused on the challenge of “acknowledging different ways of knowing, not just how to implement sustainability, but what sustainability means in itself.” In particular, Andy emphasised that “sustainability is an inherently political notion”, exampling how different discourses and knowledges of sustainability are influenced by factors like power.

For example, he reinforced the need for diverse, plural perspectives on sustainability in order to better understand and tackle the reality of its multifaceted challenges – “towards recognising that difference is a way of knowing.” This differs to dominant, politicized narratives that suggest ‘the‘ singular pathways towards sustainability – an issue also addressed in the forthcoming STRINGS report.

Key findings from the new UNESCO report on universities and the 2030 Agenda were also referred to. The 2022 report discusses the role of higher education institutions in contributing to the sustainability 2030 Agenda, and Andy

By |2022-03-14T12:00:36+00:00March 14th, 2022|News|0 Comments

Valeria Arza wins prestigious Houssay Award

STRINGS project member Valeria Arza has won the Houssay Award at the 2021 Houssay, Houssay Trayectoria and Jorge Sabato Awards.

The Houssay award is a recognition granted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in Argentina. It recognises those who have contributed throughout their scientific career to produce new knowledge, develop innovations with a social and productive impact, and promote knowledge transfer and the training of human resources.

Find out more.

By |2022-01-21T12:38:24+00:00January 21st, 2022|News|0 Comments

Rasheed Sulaiman V presents at the Global Conference on Green Development of Seed Industries

On Friday, 5 November 2021 Rasheed Sulaiman V participated at the session Facilitated Adoption of improved varieties by small-scale farmers which was presented during the Global Conference on Green Development of Seed Industries, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and referred to STRING’s work on pathways. In particular Dr Sulaiman V discussed the need to support both pathways that are analysed in the STRINGS’s case study if we are keen to enhance use of better seeds by farmers.

See the session programme for more information.


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Dr Valeria Arza presents Chagas research at 76th United Nations General Assembly forum

Dr Valeria Arza, member of the STRINGS project, participated at the session “The significance of international research cooperation for the attainment of the SDGs – approaches from research management”, within the ScienceSummit@UNGA76 around the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76), held on 27th September 2021 and was organised by the German DLR from Germany.

In the session, Dr Arza talked about her research on Chagas within STRINGS project, whose goal is to map Science Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on Lower and Medium Income Countries (LMIC).

Focusing on Chagas, Dr Arza said that there are needs related to SDG 3, 16, 11 and 4, and highlighted that there are mismatches with science production, mostly concentrated in SDG 3, 15 and 11 and that research collaboration was found to be key. The requirements are:

  1. Interdisciplinarity, to create bridges between production of science mostly in biology and medicine and the needs in education and governance.
  2. Transdisciplinarity, to better understand Chagas complexity by promoting participation of stakeholders with different experience about the problem
  3. International collaboration, particularly when collaboration involves partners from countries where the disease is endemic, possibly because they have more contextual
By |2021-10-05T15:55:02+01:00October 5th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Interview: Conserving India’s Rice Diversity

As part of the STRINGS project, Rasheed Sulaiman V and Nimisha Mittal conducted an interview with Mr Shankar Patnaik, a retired school teacher from Modeigaon village of Kosagumuda block in Nabarangapur, Odisha.

Mr Patnaik and his wife Minakshi Devi started collecting, conserving (in-situ), documenting and promoting seeds of indigenous rice varieties without any external help. Shankar has been honoured with the ‘Dr Richaria Samman’ by Odisha Desi Bihana Mancha in 2017 for his contribution towards conservation of indigenous rice.

Read the full interview

By |2021-10-05T15:49:53+01:00October 5th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Event summary: Speakers, panellists and guests come together to explore steering STI for SDGs at STRINGS’ UN STI Forum side event

Key messages

  • The STRINGS projects’ unprecedented mapping of how different areas of STI relate to SDGs has highlighted the potential misalignments between countries’ research priorities and SDG challenges.
  • The mapping and characterisation of published research also highlighted the stark inequalities between where the research capabilities are built and where they are most needed.
  • During the side event, it was argued that funders, donors and international organisations should seek to steer research priorities to address this. Recommendations based on experiences in Brazil, Germany and South Africa were discussed.
  • Measures that were discussed include: consulting with a wider range of stakeholders and reflecting the views of different communities across different contexts; improving the assessment of research’s (unequal) impact on societies; and introducing new forms of global governance to better analyse R&D allocations and STI strategies.
  • STRINGS will publish a full report and recommendations from its research later this year You can receive regular updates on the project’s research and findings by joining the STRINGS mailing list.

Event summary

The STRINGS project’s side event at the UN STI Forum 2021 explored how policymakers, funders and international organisations can harness the power of science,

By |2021-05-14T17:13:47+01:00May 13th, 2021|News|0 Comments

Watch: Dr Ismael Rafols on STRINGS’ novel approach to mapping STI for SDGs

In a webinar for Georgia Tech Library, Dr Ismael Rafols presented STRINGS’ novel approach to mapping scientific publications to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and introduced a beta-version of an interactive tool that will allow stakeholders to scrutinise a global map of science related to SDGs.

Ismael highlighted the inconsistencies that arise when using different approaches to mapping publications to SDGs. These inconsistencies are not due to minor technical issues, but instead represent different interpretations of SDGs.

Given the variety of understandings regarding the relationship between research and SDGs, STRINGS’ approach to mapping proposes that bibliometrics analysts should not assume that there is one single, preferred or consensus way of mapping SDGs to publications.

Instead, since different stakeholders have contrasting views about the relationships between science and SDGs, the contribution of bibliometrics should be to provide a plural landscape for stakeholders to explore their own views. watch the webinar

By |2021-04-29T11:22:53+01:00April 29th, 2021|News|0 Comments

STRINGS launches global survey on science, technology and innovation for the SDGs

STRINGS has launched a global survey to gather different views on how science, technology and innovation (STI) can support the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we want to hear from you.

Billions of dollars are spent every year on STI but our understanding of how that investment supports the SDGs is limited. The survey is part of our work to improve this understanding and provide decision makers with evidence and tools to align STI with the SDGs to create a better, fairer and more sustainable world.

What does the survey involve?

In the survey we ask you to tell us which areas of STI you believe have the most potential to help achieve the SDGs. We ask you to focus on the SDGs you are most familiar with, and the survey will tailor itself to reflect your expertise.

How will it help to achieve a more sustainable world?

By taking part, you will be:

  • Building a picture of which STI should be prioritised in the next 10 years to achieve the SDGs
  • Making sure that different experiences, areas of expertise, disciplines and contexts are included in debates on what is funded and how, including yours!

Our findings will be shared with

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STRINGS newsletter: winter 2020

The winter 2020 edition of the STRINGS newsletter is out now, including:

  • Spotlight on our mapping work
  • An update on our Chagas case study
  • Webinar recording – How do evidence-based models contribute to the SDGs?
  • Latest blogs
  • Recent publications and reading recommendations from the STRINGS team.

Read the newsletter and join our mailing list to have future editions sent straight to your inbox.

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