2021 - All Press Releases

Springer Nature and The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Release Joint White Paper on How to Narrow the Policy, Research, and Community Divide

Springer Nature and The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Release Joint White Paper on How to Narrow the Policy, Research, and Community Divide

London | New York  May 3, 2021

Springer Nature and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) are pleased to announce the release of a new white paper, Harnessing Science for a Sustainable Future: Narrowing the Policy, Research, and Community Divide.

The joint white paper presents key takeaways and recommendations from a virtual conference held last year that brought together policymakers, government representatives, UN officials, and leading researchers from over 100 countries around the world to discuss the role of science in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how to better integrate science into the policymaking process, and how to foster greater collaboration between the research and policy communities.

The white paper features 11 key recommendations to narrow the divide including:

Recommendations for Policymakers

  • Further develop existing knowledge infrastructures, institutions, and governance that encourage and enable continual, iterative engagement between policymakers, researchers, and the community in diagnosing problems and in decision-making processes. 

 Recommendations for Scientists and Researchers

  • Intensify interdisciplinary research in practical areas to gain a clearer understanding of the SDGs, to design transformation pathways in concrete contexts, and to provide evidence on solutions and interventions that work.
  • Raise scientific literacy and awareness of the SDGs among citizens and policymakers through greater collaboration, advocacy, and outreach.

Recommendations for Scientific Journals and Academic Institutions

  • Increase mentoring programs for researchers in the Global South to provide opportunities for capacity building, equitable collaboration, and access to resources.
  • Adjust the incentive structures and reward systems in academia to promote greater outreach and advocacy from researchers, as well as implementation research focused on evaluating the impact of science on the ground in different settings.

To continue to foster knowledge sharing between the research, policy, and scientific communities, Springer Nature and SDSN co-hosted an official side event of the UN Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation. The event featured a debate-style discussion of recommendations from the white paper and how to accelerate innovation on the SDGs.

As one of the world’s largest publishers of research and education content, Springer Nature is dedicated to championing science and accelerating the delivery of the SDGs. Since the SDGs were launched in 2015, Springer Nature has published more than 300,000 articles or book chapters relevant to the SDGs, and these have been downloaded more than 750 million times. 

To read the white paper, visit here.

About Springer Nature Group

Springer Nature opens the doors to discovery for researchers, educators, clinicians and other professionals. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals, platforms and technology solutions reach millions of people. For over 175 years our brands and imprints have been a trusted source of knowledge to these communities and today, more than ever, we see it as our responsibility to ensure that fundamental knowledge can be found, verified, understood and used by our communities – enabling them to improve outcomes, make progress, and benefit the generations that follow.

For more information visit: springernature.com/group and follow @SpringerNature

About SDSN

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was established in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society. 


Rachel Scheer

Head of Communications USA

Springer Nature


+ 212-451-8569