Notes #8


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Stumbled over …

A great article on Institutionalizing applied humanities: enabling a stronger role for the humanities in interdisciplinary research for public policy, by Frans W. A. Brom in Palgrave Communications (Vol. 5, Art.: 72, 2019).

In the science-based policy community of—mostly natural—scientists, it is clear that there are limitations in natural science approaches to public policy. This community looks at the ‘other’ disciplines in academia, including the humanities, to overcome these limitations. An analysis of these limitations as actual limits, boundaries, and necessary bounds clarifies what science advisers need from the humanities: to contextualize decontextualized science advice.

Frans W. A. Brom

The article includes a dense history of the science-advisory mechanisms that have emerged in the past years, and then touches on many issues I have been highlighting in various contexts for the past decade, for example the disciplinary dominance of natural sciences, the boundaries of disciplines (and those two combined: disciplinary imperialism), the need for other rather than more research questions, etc. Overall an great read that I will often reference to in the years to come.

Post SDG Summit Information

Statements of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders representatives have been posted on the SDG Summit website. All statements from Leaders Dialogues can also be found on the United Nations PaperSmart website. The HLPF Political declaration can be found on the SDG Summit website under Outcomes and A/HLPF/2019/L.1. An online platform was created for stakeholders to share their comments, reflections and suggestions and a synthesis report was compiled by UN DESA.

Corporate Capture of the UN

Not for the first time, there is a flurry of emails and social media posts from civil society advocates in response to some form of interaction between the UN and the private sector – a recent previous one was about the dominant role of business at UNEA-4. This time, it is about the Corporate capture of global governance: The World Economic Forum (WEF)-UN partnership agreement is a dangerous threat to UN System. While some critical questions could and should be asked about such partnerships, I fail to see where the controversy in particular comes from this time when reading the text of the United Nations-World Economic Forum strategic partnership agreement. Or am I missing something?

Side-note: Corporate Capture is a good advocacy slogan tough. At HLPF 2018 I overheard an absurd variation: Someone complained about the State Capture of the UN. Talking about insufficient institutional and procedural knowledge …

Recommended Reading

In other news …

#EU#European Union’s Science Advisory Mechanism#Future Earth#HLPF#Humanities#Research Funding#Science Advisory Mechanism#Science-Policy#Stakeholder Engagement#The Netherlands#United Nations#World Economic Forum