Ever since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, progress has been made in fighting poverty and reducing inequality across the world, including improvements in school enrolment rates, mother and child health, and reducing malnutrition. However, conflicts, ongoing climate change and environmental abuses are holding back this significant headway. It was in this context that the UN adopted its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. These all fall within the scope of a single challenge: our ability to transform our societies in order to live in a better, fairer and more equal world that is respectful of the environment and humans.
While the role of some stakeholders in working towards the SDGs is obvious (states, NGOs, international organisations, etc.), this is not the case for research, whose role in this area is little known. Yet research plays – or will play – a leading role in achieving these goals by 2030: to produce a trustworthy base of knowledge and data, to propose innovative solutions, to assess progress made, but also to provide perspective for the SDGs. Scientific research and innovation in particular have a major role to play in developing countries, which are especially vulnerable and face multiple local and global challenges (the impact of climate change, financial crises, pandemics, etc.).
Through 22 panels, figures, graphics and photos, this exhibition shows the public the essential role of scientific research in achieving sustainable development.