Rationale for actions

It is a justified query why developing another organization is necessary where innumerable organizations are available around to address challenges of various kinds, at various scales. Responding to that question requires understanding of the critical gaps in scientific knowledge, innovation and policy implementation to address contemporary crisis and how they should be approached based on the integrated science. Critical appraisal of global definition of ‘development’ also may shed some lights in this regard. The roots of contemporary development trajectory could be traced since the end of World War II with the creation of UN, GATT/WTO, World Bank etc. Since then the word ‘development’ generally refers to improvement of living standards of people that depends on human capital (improved health, education etc.) and the support provisions of a state such as services, infrastructure, institutions (generally termed as public goods). Simultaneous improvement of these two dimensions determines the quality of progress or improvements that a society is able to secure. This ‘development’ definition that was applied in different countries at the earlier stages of development are not effectively applicable for the countries those came late in the development pathways like Bangladesh. The reasons for this remain in the fact that challenges of development for the later stage countries were changed significantly by absorbing many domestic, external and cumulative pseudo-challenges. Even the global challenges become compounded with added and/or multiplied threats originated from unsustainable use of natural resources, recurrent natural disasters, climate change including infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Thus, the problems experienced both in local or global levels in contemporary times are not simple rather complex, not linear rather multi-dimensional – and this characterizes the development-challenges of twenty first century.

In that context, it could be said that there is a requirement of adopting new approaches in policy making, implementation of actions and monitoring the results so that the complex and multifaceted challenges are effectively handled and development becomes sustainable, equitable, inclusive and appropriate. Policy making, in turn, depends on politics and politics is defined by the common people whose needs are multi-dimensional and aspirations are constantly changing. Application of science integrated with social science disciplines may help to analyze and understand the people’s problems better and to provide actionable and solution-oriented knowledge to address those. It is pertinent here to perceive the emergence of International Science Council in 2018 through the unification of International Council for Science (established in 1931) and International Social Science Council (established in 1952) which may suggest that the separation of disciplines could only provide fragmented understanding and solutions where science focused integration is necessary for deep realization of the problems and understanding that in totality towards providing sustainable solutions. The subtle spirit of this integrated emergence of new organization at global level may encourage unified efforts from various types of actions including the development of new organization at national level.

There is absence of significant efforts in this regard and that provides the rationale for developing an organization that will be based on multidisciplinary approach where natural and social science disciplines will be integrated. Science can supply critical data, innovation and technologies to inform politicians, policy makers and community stakeholders and can identify critical leverage points to transform society that is sustainable, inclusive and equitable. It is also important to note that impressive progress and developments have been made in science and technology during the last couple of decades ranging from health sciences to satellite technologies, nano-technology to highly accurate surveying techniques, from location based services to smart navigation systems, communication technologies to surveillance of disaster events, drone enabled optical/LiDAR/RADAR/thermal imaging of environmental conditions to precision agriculture etc. Application of these sciences and allied technologies is pivotal to understand the multifaceted development problems including challenges faced by different frontiers of environment and accordingly provide solutions to address the challenges. One of the most important challenges for integrating science with existing policy-institutional architecture is the longstanding operational culture of agencies that give little scope to apply contemporary science in lieu of traditional practices and operations. This suggests that integration and mainstream of science with preexisting operational culture needs smart intermediate agencies that may work in the areas of disconnect towards creating an atmosphere where parties/entities will better understand the benefits of science in understanding the root causes of development gaps. Science Connect Ltd. works in this juncture and demonstrates the promise of science in addressing societal and environmental problems with aim to bring change in the institutional culture in applying science in their everyday business as far as possible.

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