"Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world." -Louis Pasteur
Albert Einstein. Marie Curie. Stephen Hawking. Nikola Tesla. Rosalind Franklin. Alexander Graham Bell. Benjamin Franklin. I better stop before I start to sound like a Billy Joel song!
What do the very talented people mentioned above have in common? They were all scientists that dedicated their lives to uncovering fundamental truths for us to understand the world better.
While some students might scoff at the idea of science and view it as too complicated to understand, it is essential in all societies across the world - or the universe, should you believe there are more advanced societies out there, in the great void we know as space.
Defined as a systematic enterprise that organises knowledge in the form of explanations and predictions, science has been around forever and is not quite going anywhere.
So, to raise awareness about the ever-important academic discipline of science and all that it entails, through the work of some diligent individuals, World Science Day was established. After reading that last sentence, did you stop and ask yourself, "World Science Day?" If so, you're not the first to do so.
In today's article, we shall examine the origins, purpose, and urgent day of World Science Day. Let's get started!
The Origins of World Science Day
Before understanding the purpose of World Science Day, it is best to analyse the origins and determine how it all began. First and foremost, it is necessary to state that the International Science Day for Peace and Development is always on the same day every year: November 10.
But how did it all start in the first place? After many invitees and speakers voiced concern about more public awareness of scientific discipline at the 1999 World Conference on Science in Budapest, UNESCO, who was a co-organiser of the event, considered the pleas of many countries in attendance to establish a day in the year where science is celebrated.
After some additional talk about a "science day," UNESCO's Executive Board brought up the idea at their bi-annual meeting. The official name for the day was discussed and known in preliminary stages as "Science Day for Peace and Development."
Following some deliberation and the consideration of a science day by UNESCO member states, at the November 2001 General Conference, it was decided by those involved that November 10 of every year, starting in 2002, would be known as Science Day for Peace and Development.
UNESCO encouraged universities, non-government organisations, businesses, etc. to all take an active part in promoting Science Day and making it a moment in the year that everyone looks forward to.
Also, it's important to mention that all collaborators at previous World Conference's on Science would contribute ideas that would make International Science Day stand out as something unique and different from other holidays.
Nonetheless, while it is all good and fun to establish a day per year to celebrate science, some may pose the question: what is the overall purpose of the Science Day for Peace and Development? Read the following subheading to find out more!
World Science Day for Peace and Development: Understanding the Purpose
Like all special events throughout the year, Science Day was designed to promote and raise consciousness. Of what? Of scientific topics and their importance on the world stage. The experts down at the UN believe that everyone should know about the relevance of science in our daily lives.
To better comprehend the purpose, UNESCO has outlined that November 10 is a day of science that has many objectives such as the following:
- To fortify public awareness of the vital part that science plays to establish peaceful and sustainable societies around the world,
- Share in the promotion of establishing either a national or an international agreement between countries that are fellow member states,
- Renew the worldwide commitment between nations for the use of science to build better communities,
- Bring up the challenges many are facing with studying science and raise support to aid learners to understand the purpose of science better.
World Science Day is not only for scientists and those reviewing technology-based subjects, instead the objective of November 10 is to make sure that all types of citizens, even those who don't like science, are kept up to date with the exciting developments in science that are currently happening.
Also, UNESCO establishes a yearly theme to consider scientific exploration on November 10. The subject matter relates to global issues being faced and is chosen well in advance to ensure that Science Day is educational and applicable to all. In 2020, the concept to discuss is that of "Science for and with Society." The effects of COVID-19 on the discipline of science will be mentioned promptly.
For those who are curious about past themes since 2002, the following list features the subject matter of previous UNESCO Science Day's:
- 2019: Open Science, leaving no one behind,
- 2018: Science, a human right,
- 2017: Science for global understanding,
- 2016: Celebrating science centres and science museums,
- 2015: Science for a Sustainable Future.
Etc. etc., we could go on and on all day, but why not check it out for yourself on UNESCO's site?
UNESCO strongly encourages individuals, institutions, organisations, and businesses to plan or organise specific events that are related to science and technology on November 10 to celebrate International Science Day. A lot of resources, activities, conferences, and key-note addresses can be found on the UNESCO World Science Day site to get ready for the 2020 event!
As a way of concluding this section, dear readers, we cannot urge you enough to consider the great importance of science. Why? Well, with global temperatures increasing year after year, we must all take part in recognising that developments in science are the key to saving our planet. Science must be praised and supported at all costs.
The Importance of Science & Technology in Today's World
"Science is the key to our future, and if you don't believe in science, then you're holding everybody back." -Bill Nye
Bill Nye the Science Guy. What a legend. Maybe not well-known in the United Kingdom, Bill Nye has been teaching North American children about the importance of science in an interactive way for the past three decades. Teaching kids to recognise the fact that "Science Rules", Nye revived a passion for science-based subjects in the traditional classroom.
And, why does Bill Nye deserve commendation for his efforts in the world of science? Well, because science cannot be ignored and must be at the forefront of every nation to make wise decisions about the future.
For years, pioneers in the world of physics, chemistry, engineering, and other scientific studies, have been advising the world about the importance of science in our modern era. The following are a few reasons as to why we should strive to understand science and give it a chance:
- To Understand Our Planet: everything that we have discovered about planet earth, from an atom to the devastating effects of climate change, is due to the hard work and constant research of those in scientific sectors.
- Technological Advancements: the fantastic progress that has been made throughout the 20th and 21st century is credited to the advancements that were made in science. Such as? The laws of gravity, cutting-edge equipment, pharmaceuticals, and even social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram. Without improvements in science and technology, our world would be a much darker and different place.
- To Hone Problem-Solving Skills: when we study science, we make hypothesises and then work hard to test our results and see if they are correct. After some time, a student begins to analyse scientific data and practise their problem-solving abilities to see if their guess matches the results. Through the use of questions and conscious thought about the potential outcome, confidence in academic skills and appreciation of science is improved.
- Collaboration Abilities Improved: breaking through the boundaries of a scientific topic that is not yet known is usually the hard of a team of brilliant minds. Therefore, when studying science, collaboration is improved between members of a group which leads to the realisation that working together is always better.
All of the previously mentioned reasons demonstrate that science today, in the turbulent year of 2020, are more necessary than ever before. Here's to hoping that through collaboration and examination of scientific topics, the global climate crisis can be solved!
In conclusion, at Superprof, we fully advocate the implementation of World Science Day at primary and secondary schools because when more people care about science, the closer the humanity is to solving its unfortunate problems. Remember, "Science Rules!"