New studies highlight role of research and development

The European Commission has recently published two studies highlighting the future and sustainable development. Both reports touch on research and development (R&D) and the central part that it can play in addressing challenges facing modern society. The study entitled ‘People, the economy and our planet’ looks at sustainable development from the socio-economic sciences and humanities, while the ‘World in 2025′ examines the conclusions of the European Foresight Expert Group. ‘Research deals with long-term issues and the need to support a knowledge-based society,’ commented Jean-Michael Baer, Director at the Directorate-General for Research. ‘Through international collaboration, European research can project its sustainability goals onto the rest of the world in a positive and participatory way.’ An important part of the EU research effort is the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The SSH contribution to sustainable development is highlighted in ‘People, the economy and our planet’. A central theme to the study is the behaviour of complex systems that are under stress and the positive support that can come from innovation across a wide range of technological areas. To create sustainable development will require an unprecedented integration of research and practice across disciplines, and new modes of scientific and political discourse including socio-economic sciences and humanities, says the study (http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN=31601) Document disponible au CASU ou téléchargeable sur http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/people-economy-and-our-planet-sustainable-development_en.pdf