A special guest lecture by Sir Peter Gluckman, Chair, International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) and Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
Co-hosted by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Sheffield Institute for International Development
Successful delivery of the UN’s Global Goals by 2030 will require action at every level of government, business and civil society. The research community has a crucial role to play in providing evidence, expertise and data to underpin, inform, measure and monitor the implementation of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But processes of translation from evidence into policy are far from straightforward. In many countries, evidence and expertise is sought with growing urgency across a proliferating array of policy questions. At the same time, in an era of ‘post-truth’ politics, its legitimacy has rarely been so contested.
An increasing diversity of governments are now establishing formal science advisory mechanisms within their own domestic systems. By contrast, the UN and the international system as a whole is lagging in providing effective leadership for scientific input to policy. Unless science advisory systems at the international level are coherently and appropriately linked to national science advisory systems, progress against key SDGs will be slowed.
Looking towards 2030, communities of research, policy and practice are now focusing on questions of how to improve the provision, communication and application of evidence and data to SDG policy and implementation. Perspectives from the natural sciences and engineering are being enriched and complicated by a deeper understanding of public values and cognitive biases from social and behavioural sciences. And there are intensifying debates about the accuracy, validity, politics and purposes of development data.
In this special lecture, Sir Peter Gluckman will draw on his near-decade’s experience as Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, and role as Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (http://www.ingsa.org/), to outline how science, research and evidence can be most effectively harnessed to advance the Global Goals.
Sir Peter Gluckman ONZ KNZM FRS was appointed in 2009 as the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He is also Special Science Envoy for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Chair of the International Network for Governmental Science Advice, which brings science advisors, policy makers and academics together to consider how the science–policy nexus can be enhanced at all levels of government. He is also standing co-chair of APEC’s Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents group, and leads the Small Advanced Economies Initiative, which brings small advanced economies together to compare policies in science, innovation and economics. In February 2016 he was honored with the AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy.
His academic background is in pediatric and developmental biology, evolutionary biology, epigenetics and developmental pathways to disease. He has published over 700 scientific papers and reviews. He has authored books for both technical and lay audiences including Fat, Fate and Disease (Gluckman and Hanson 2011 OUP), Mismatch (Gluckman and Hanson OUP 2006), Nutrition and Lifestyle for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding(Gluckman et al OUP 2015), Principles of Evolutionary Medicine(Gluckman et al 2009, 2016 OUP) and The Fetal Matrix(Gluckman and Hanson 2004 CUP). He has as received the highest scientific honor (Rutherford medal) and civilian honor (member of the Order of New Zealand – limited to 20 living New Zealanders) in New Zealand and numerous international scientific awards. From 2014-2016 he was co-chair of the WHO Commission to End Childhood Obesity.
He holds a Distinguished University Professorship at the Liggins Institute of the University of Auckland and is a former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Director Emeritus of the Liggins Institute. He holds honorary appointments in Singapore, Santiago, and Southampton and is a visiting professor to the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College, London. He is on Twitter @petergluckman.