As part of the German Sustainability Science Summit (G3S) on 8 and 9 July 2021, SDSN Germany organised a panel on the subject of “Science as a transformative lever for sustainable development – science policy as a game changer”.
The G3S was hosted by the German Committee Future Earth (DKN). Next to Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Co-Chair of SDSN Germany and Director of the GDI), Prof. Jacqueline McGlade (Professor of Natural Prosperity, Sustainable Development and Knowledge Systems at the Institute for Global Prosperity, UCL, London), R. Andreas Kraemer (Founder and Director Emeritus of the Ecologic Institute, Berlin) and Dr. Steffi Ober (Initiator and Co-Speaker of the project “Forschungswende”) provided impulses on the topic. The discussion was moderated and led by Dr. Sabrina Schulz (Executive Director of SDSN Germany).
The discussion focused on science as a lever for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as anchored in the German Sustainability Strategy (DNS). The question was how this lever could work effectively to strengthen sustainable development. It became clear that all panelists see an acute need for action, both on the part of science and on the part of politics. It is indispensable that science makes itself capable of providing advice. It must develop applicable solutions for concrete sustainability problems and communicate these to policy-makers in a comprehensible way. Politicians, for their part, must increasingly address institutional implementation problems and show more willingness to seek scientific advice. In doing so, it is important that they do not “hide” behind the findings of science or instrumentalise them.