Scientific research has a critical role to play in addressing global challenges and achieving the SDGs. Its role is even more important as we seek to emerge from the pandemic while facing continuing crises due to environmental destruction, conflict and growing inequality. However, translating knowledge into action remains a complicated task.

On 6 July 2021, GSPI’s Nicolas Seidler was one of several experts invited to reflect on the relationship between science and policy across the spectrum of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key points from the GSPI presentation included:

  • Overview of the non-linear dynamics of science-policy interactions
  • Emphasis on the role of science-policy collaborations as a factor of greater alignement between scientific evidence and policy challenges
  • Spotlight on the role of boundary-spanners in science, in policy and at their interface as key agents of science-policy engagement
  • Need to build the capacity of and train such boundary-spanners

Recording of the event

Related ressources:


  • Welcome remarks
    • Ambassador Jacques Ducrest, Delegate of the Swiss Federal Council for the 2030 Agenda
    • Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, UNITAR
  • Presentations
    • Introduction to the project – Paul Ladd, Director, UNRISD
    • Overview of research findings – Maggie Carter, Research Analyst, UNRISD
    • Insights from International Geneva on Human Well-Being and Capabilities – Sophie Plagerson, Independent Consultant
    • Strengthening Science-Policy Engagement for Sustainable Development – Nicolas Seidler, Executive Director, Geneva Science-Policy Interface
  • Discussant
    • Andrea Ordóñez, Director, Southern Voice
  • Q&A

Project partners

The project is coordinated by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the Geneva Science-Policy Interface (GSPI), the Think Tank Hub, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland and the SDG Lab, and funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).