15 November 2017, UNESCO in partnership with the Iran Association for Popularization of Sciences and the Iran National Commission for UNESCO celebrated the 2017 World Science Day for Peace and Development in Tehran Book Garden.
The theme of this year’s science day is “Science for Global Understanding.” The event was attended by a large group of scholars, government officials, students, representatives of embassies and individuals active in popularizing sciences. The event also paid tribute to the victims of the recent earthquake that occurred at the border of Iran and Iraq.
The event was opened by Dr. Akram Ghadimi, Head of the Iranian Association for Popularization of Sciences, who talked about how science can lead to a common global understanding and peace.
Ms. Niloofar Sadeghi of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office welcomed all the participants and read out the message of UNESCO’s Director-General on the occasion of World Science Day 2017: “Today, the complexity of the world’s issues goes beyond the framework of a single discipline. Hence, UNESCO has made trans-disciplinarity the cornerstone of its work for sustainability; building networks with multiple stakeholders such as museums, universities, private and public actors, governments and NGOs. This year’s theme for the World Science Day for Peace and Development, Science for global understanding, encompasses UNESCO’s approach to develop scientific cooperation between and within societies, combining global sustainability and local actions and knowledge.”
Dr. Mahin Gazani, Head of the Science Department of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, talked about the five main outcomes of the 2017 Science Summit: i) Equitable and sustainable management of natural resources is essential to avoid conflicts and to promote peaceful development, ii) The preservation of scientific capacities, threatened by global migration trends, is key to peace, sustainable development, resilience and recovery, iii) Diversity is a key enabler of excellence in science, technology and innovation and is essential to optimize its relevance and impact, iv) Commitment to the universal right to science, v) The need to launch a regional science forum for the Arab World.
Dr. Elaheh Hejazi, Advisor for Women Affairs at the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, elaborated on the important role of science in reaching wisdom that is the underlying requirement of peace. Dr Hejazi argued that the ethical dimensions of scientific advancements must be well addressed. She concluded by hoping that with the increased number of girls in Iranian universities, women would contribute more to an equitable society free of violence.
The World Science Day for Peace and Development was established by UNESCO in 2001 in order to develop bridges between science and society. The aim of this day is to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science, while underscoring the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable. World Science Day is celebrated on 10 November each year followed by the International Science week.