It’s World Science Day for Peace and Development! Celebrated every 10th of November, #ScienceDay highlights the importance of science for the world – both for protecting our fragile planet, and for improving the lives of the people who call Earth home. On this day, conversations surrounding emerging scientific issues are encouraged, plus the importance of communicating science to the public. We round up a celebratory selection of articles to inform researchers, science communicators, policymakers, and the public about the latest ethics debates, science research, and sustainable development.
The annual event was first proclaimed by UNESCO in 2001. ‘The rationale of celebrating a World Science Day for Peace and Development has its roots in the importance of the role of science and scientists for sustainable societies and in the need to inform and involve citizens in science,’ say the UN organisers. Join in on social media using #ScienceDay. Read on to discover uncomfortable truths about self-driving cars and to be inspired by the Diverse Horizons family’s efforts towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals. Plus learn how science educators and communicators need to adapt their approach to meet the realities of our complex environmental problems to help find solutions.
Uncomfortable ethics for autonomous vehicles
Self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles (AVs), are an inevitability on our roads. That’s probably a good thing –most accidents are the result of human error. Ironically, humans will still need to programme the ’thinking’ part of an AV, especially when it’s presented with ethical dilemmas. But how important is this for AV manufacturers? Dr Tripat Gill of Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, a specialist in consumer attitudes towards radical technologies, has uncovered some uncomfortable truths.
Diverse Horizons: Investing globally in social and environmental sustainability
The issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and social inequality are growing ever more challenging. Considering these problems, global goals for sustainable development have encouraged treaties such as the Paris Agreement and the proposed Green New Deal. Mr Tony Marshall, the Founder, President, and CEO of his corporations Diverse Horizons, Inc. and The Diverse Horizons Foundation, has been diligent in progressing the United Nation’s sustainable development agenda, by providing multiuse community-based facilities, complete with pedagogy, curricula, and market products. These entities for educational development, including environmental sustainability and social equality, which manifested from 20 years of research and development.
Science education, new materialism, natural disaster, and the Anthropocene
Science education must adapt to new ways of thinking about how humans interact with the material world. That is the view of Catherine Milne, professor of science education at New York University in the US. In a new book, Dr Milne and co-authors argue that identification of the current human-centric ‘Anthropocene’ geological epoch, together with the many natural disasters the world has recently experienced, question the validity of post-Enlightenment models of science education. They argue that such models fail to equip students with the thinking needed to solve the complex environmental problems the world faces.