While many only talk and talk in favour or against the research that improves society, others are already doing it or planning to do it in the near future.

The main objective of this conference is to take a relevant step forward in the analysis of research that are having most social impact (in the different scientific domains), the increase of small scale social impact to further contexts, the planning of social impact for future research proposals, and the improvement of the communication of social impact both to evaluation agencies and to society.
In this conference, we will not waste time and resources of the participants with discourses against focusing on the social improvements that some individuals enjoy. The conference is about social impact, and participants have the right to dedicate all their time and resources to learn with colleagues how to improve it.


Analysing, communicating and improving social impact is one of the most pressing demands to all scientific fields. Most research groups are willing to assume this task, which is still very difficult due to the lack of indicators, repositories and experiences. Nevertheless, there are some scientific domains where significant steps have been already taken. There are also some countries where universities and science agencies are very advanced in the construction of these indicators. The 1st Conference on Social Impact of Science (SIS2016) will provide a framework where research groups from diverse contexts and domains will be able to discuss these existing good practices, as well as the processes for further improvement. Furthermore, SIS2016 will generate new bonds between the different actors involved in this initiative including researchers, scientific agencies, science stakeholders and civil society.

Thematic Organization

SIS2016 includes contributions on social impact from 5 scientific fields:

  • Physics & Mathematics
  • Social Sciences & Humanities
  • Engineering, Information & Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Health & Pharmacy

All the scientific fields will be present throughout the five days of the conference, but each day will grant especial emphasis on one of them. Furthermore, every day there will be interdisciplinary topics and activities that will attain not only a horizontal debate but also they will be incubators of new initiatives for joint collaborations.

Contributions on Societal Challenges

In relation to the interdisciplinary perspective of research, SIS2016 includes contributions on 10 societal challenges:

Eradicate Extreme Hunger, Poverty & Social Exclusion
  • Halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day
  • Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
  • Reducing the number of people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion
  • Increasing employment of the population aged 20-64
  • Ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants regardless of migration status, of refugees and of displaced persons
  • Reverse all forms of malnutrition, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
  • Increase the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land
  • Empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
  • Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • Reverse the end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • Reduce Child Mortality
  • Reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well being
  • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education
Guarantee Environmental Sustainability
  • Reverse the loss of environmental resources
  • Halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
  • Reduce the negative impacts of urban activities and of chemicals which are hazardous for human health and the environment, including through the environmentally sound management and safe use of chemicals, the reduction and recycling of waste and the more efficient use of water and energy
  • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
  • Ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
  • Implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • Introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increasing the use of energy from renewable
Availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  • Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
  • Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials
  • Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
  • Implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
  • Protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
  • Expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
  • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Develop a Global Partnership for Development
  • In cooperation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth
  • In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries
  • In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technology
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization. Significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
  • Upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and
decent work for all
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high -value added and labour-intensive sectors
  • Improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation
  • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • Substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
  • Take effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and end child labour in all its forms
  • Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
  • Promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
Extend Peace & Social Justice
  • Build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights
  • Prevent conflict and to support post-conflict countries
  • Foster intercultural understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and an ethic of global citizenship and shared responsibility
  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
Education for all
  • Ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
  • Reducing the rate of early school leavers
  • Provide inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels — early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational training. All people, irrespective of sex, age, race or ethnicity, and persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous peoples, children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society
  • Increasing the rate of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
  • Eliminate gender disparity in all levels of education. Promote equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision-making at all levels
  • Reverse all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls
  • Improve Maternal Health
  • Through Natural Sciences Sector, provide strong role models and mentors for women and girls in science throughout the world. Promote the contributions of outstanding women to scientific knowledge, especially when it is related to the broad area of climate science
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