UN expert panel at Cornell May 11 for science, policy symposium

A symposium exploring how science and policy intersect in driving global sustainable development will be held May 11 at Cornell.

Members of the United Nations 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report Expert Panel are coming together to critically investigate the future of global social, environmental and economic issues. Organized by Cornell’s Polson Institute for Global Development, the free public event starts at 8:30 a.m. in Klarman auditorium and features a full day of conversation. Registration is required.

This symposium, Bridging Science and Policy in the Sustainable Development Era, addresses the commitments of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2015, the U.N. established 17 sustainable development goals to reach by 2030. Those goals – in areas related to health, education, affordable and clean energy, climate action and others – were adopted to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all.

The symposium is the first in a sequence of events at Cornell. The Future of Development series, to be held annually, will connect Cornell’s leading research and policy experts to drive conversations around global sustainable development.

At four panel discussions May 11, academics, researchers and development practitioners will question and discuss the science-policy interface, and in particular, critically evaluate how evidence is being used to benchmark the U.N.’s sustainable-development goals.

“We’re going to have a variety of voices and they’re not necessarily going to agree – and so that is going to make for relatively difficult conversations but hopefully exciting ones,” said Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, chair and professor in the Department of Development Sociology, and member of the U.N. Expert Panel. “We are going to both engage with the goals themselves and see how they can be achieved, but also questioning the essence of development is going to be a part of the project.”

The keynote address will be delivered by Shantanu Mukherjee, chief of the policy analysis branch in the Division for Sustainable Development for the U.N. Department for Economic and Social Affairs. His talk will focus on bridging divides in the sustainable-development era.

The subsequent discussion panels will focus on questions ranging from critically reviewing the societal gains from evidence-based policy, to overcoming challenges associated with communicating and translating science.

Panelists include representatives from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Global Health Visions, the Gates Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and others in the global development sector.

Participating Cornell faculty include: Suman Seth, associate professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies; Tapan Parikh, associate professor in the Department of Information Science at Cornell Tech; Allison Chatrchyan, senior research associate and director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions; David Kay, senior extension associate in the Community and Regional Development Institute; and David Brown, emeritus professor in the Department of Development Sociology.

Christian Elliott is program and communications associate in the Department of Development Sociology.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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