It also highlights the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. World Science Day was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2001 and celebrated for the first time in 2002.
By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.
The objectives of World Science Day for Peace and Development are to: Strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies; Promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries; Renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies;
Draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raising support for the scientific endeavour. Individuals and institutions around the world are encouraged to organize an event or activity on World Science Day, including government officials, students, the media and school pupils. World Science Day for Peace and Development has generated many concrete projects, programmes and funding for science around the world. It has also helped foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict, one example being the UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO).
The impact of science on people’s daily life and its profound societal implications, including those of an ethical nature, make scientific literacy a prerequisite for effective democratic processes.