World Science Day for Peace and Development

Jessica Juckes, International Training Programme Assistant

Today, 10 November, is World Science Day for Peace and Development, highlighting the important role of science in society, and aiming to ensure citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It was first held in 2002, after the idea was put forward by the delegations of Ethiopia and Malawi at the World Conference on Science in Budapest in 1999.

This UNESCO international observance day has the following objectives:
– To strengthen public awareness on the role of science for peaceful and sustainable societies
– To promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries
– To renew national and international commitment for the use of science for the benefit of societies
– To draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raising support for the scientific endeavour

This year’s theme is ‘Science for Global Understanding’.

World Science Day for Peace and Development & the Museum/Heritage Sector


Museums, as research institutions, are among the organisations that UNESCO encourages to take an active part in the event. In fact, the 2016 World Science Day for Peace and Development was dedicated to the theme of ‘Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums’.

As Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO wrote on the occasion:
“Science centres and museums are so important — for capacity building, for advocacy, to send strong messages about the importance of science for sustainable development. Science centres and museums plays key roles in nurturing the curiosity of women and men, as living laboratories of creativity, catalysing research and solutions to help societies meet challenges. In the digital era, when we need innovative initiatives to promote the learning of science outside the classrooms, museums and science centres are privileged places of education. They provide excellent ways to encourage children, especially girls, to pursue careers in science – to multiply our collective scientific capabilities.”

10 November has even been declared as International Science Centre and Science Museum Day by the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

There are museums in a good number of ITP countries taking part in this celebration:
Museu da Amazonia (MUSA), Cidade de Deus, Brazil
Espaço do Conhecimento UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Play Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Çağ University Space Observation and Research Centre, Mersin, Turkey
Bursa Science and Technology Centre, Bursa, Turkey
Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, India
National Science Centre, Delhi, India
Petrosains Discovery Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
International Centre for Life, Newcastle, UK