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Commonwealth conference brings 400 scientists together

16 June 2017

Four hundred Commonwealth scientists are meeting in Singapore this week to explore cutting-edge approaches to deliver low carbon energy and sustainable cities, and to find solutions to challenges such as climate change and infectious diseases.

The Commonwealth Science Conference 2017 brings together researchers from 40 countries drawn from many disciplines and backgrounds. It aims to celebrate excellence in science and provide opportunities for cooperation between countries.

It comes as the winning entries were announced from the Commonwealth Science Class competition, an initiative of the British Council and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

In her message to the conference, Commonwealth Secretary-General said new and emerging scientific technologies are urgently needed to address the damage to the environment and people’s livelihoods caused by threats such as climate change.

“New approaches such as biomimicry - have given us carbon-eating concrete and cooling systems based on termite mounds - together with electrical cars and aircraft. Other disciplines, which give us an understanding of permaculture, circular and symbiotic economics – all made possible by science, technology and changed attitudes – now offer the possibility to reverse that damage.”

“What we are able to pioneer, thanks to the ease with which we work together, building on our diversity and commonality, opens up new pathways for the wider world,” the Secretary-General said.

The Commonwealth Science Conference between 13-16 June 2017 is organised by the Royal Society, the National Research Foundation, and the Singapore Prime Minister's Office. It is supported by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

In his opening address, President of the Royal Society Venki Ramakrishnan reflected on the global nature of science. “Science is uniquely placed to contribute to the Commonwealth’s shared goals of democracy and development,” he said.

“There is much excellent science being done in our countries but the fact that we have a third of the world’s population but only 10 percent of global R&D expenditure shows that there is great scope for capacity building. Contributing to that will be, I hope, one of the true legacies of this conference.”

The Commonwealth Science Conference follows hot on the heels of last month’s Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change Conference, hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Cloudburst Foundation.

The last Commonwealth Science Conference took place in Bangalore in November 2014.