Science for Social Justice: The World Science Forum 2022, Cape Town, South Africa

The World Science Forum (WSF) 2022, convened under the theme, “Science for Social Justice”, took place from December 6 – 9 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. The WSF is a series of biennial conferences organised in partnership with leading global science organisations, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the International Science Council (ISC), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC), the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the initiator and historic custodian, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA). It was the first WSF to take place in Africa.

The event brought together from across the world, scientists, public policy makers, government officials, industry leaders, media representatives, students as well as representatives from broader civil society, especially from communities often excluded from these types of events. The Forum had various plenary and thematic sessions, as well as side events, to exchange ideas on the growing interdependence of science and society, and to deliberate on what role science should play in ensuring resources, opportunities and privileges are accessible to all, and distributed in a fair manner in order to address global challenges facing humanity.

The WSF 2022 subthemes were: science for human dignity; science for climate justice; science for Africa and the world; science for diplomacy as well as justice in science. Roseanne Njiru was in attendance, to represent the ARUA Centre of Excellence for Non-Communicable Diseases at the Forum.

His Excellency, the President of South Africa, Cyrlil Ramaphosa officially opened the World Science Forum (WSF) on Tuesday, 6 December, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. President Ramaphosa challenged delegates to ensure that the WSF would not only be a platform for debate, but that it would also result in concrete action towards the betterment of lives. He called for fair and equal access to scientific innovations and discoveries to close the gap between Global North and South economies: “Science for Social Justice expresses our conviction that inequality within and between countries is neither just nor sustainable. This event will inspire concerted global action for science to challenge and address inequality, injustice, poverty, environmental destruction and marginalisation.” The president, as well other speakers, hoped that the event would contribute to advancing the African agenda for science, affirming the crucial contributions Africa has to make in enriching global science. Click here to access the full report.

Brief report prepared for ARUA CoE for NCDs

by Roseanne Njiru, PhD.

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