United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

UN Call for Inputs to the IATT Report for the STI Forum 2021

The UN Interagency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (IATT) is calling upon scientists, engineers, economists, policy analysts, and UN staff experts to contribute to a background report on “Emerging science, frontier technologies, and the SDGs – Perspectives from UN system and science and technology communities”.

Themes: We are looking for substantive contributions in either one of the following areas on issues that you would like to bring to the attention of policy makers:

  1. Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for the science-policy-society interface;
  2. Rapidly emerging frontier technologies and emerging science issues (for the SDGs)

Theme (b) focuses on rapidly emerging technologies that progress so fast and have such broad-ranging socio-economic and environmental impacts that they pose serious challenges for institutions to adapt. Examples include - but are not necessarily limited to - highly interdependent, emerging technology clusters in the areas of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanomaterials, and various digital technologies. While contributions are welcome along this entire scope, you may want to note that this year’s report will have a special feature on the impacts of frontier technologies on energy and environment.

Format: We are looking for concise contributions of around 1,600 words (excluding references and Annexes) in the form of science-policy briefs, comprising abstract, outline of empirical facts and issues, and policy recommendations. Authorship will be fully acknowledged. The contributions would ideally be grounded in peer-reviewed literature. They would be quantitative comprising tables, figures or infographics, as appropriate.

Submissions will be peer-reviewed. Upon review and acceptance, individual contributions will be included in the IATT report and/or posted on the UN Website as standalone briefs. With your submission, you also permit us to use and consider them for other UN reports and presentations.

Note: We continue to also welcome longer empirical research papers (3,000 to 16,000 words) as input to our ongoing work, but we will not be able to process them in time for the IATT report 2021.

Timeline: We are looking forward to your submissions to roehrl@un.org and bob.bell.jr@unctad.org, as soon as possible and hopefully no later than 1 April 2021. For planning purposes, we also encourage you to inform us as soon as possible about the topic of any contributions you plan to submit.

All submissions received by 1 April 2021 will be considered for the 2021 report. Late submissions are also welcome in support of our ongoing work.