UNESCO hosted a Virtual Ministerial Dialogue on Covid-19 and Open Science


H. E. Prof. Mansour Gholami, Minister of Science Research and Technology of Iran and member of UNESCO Covid-19 Education Ad-Hoc Ministerial Group participated at the online Virtual Ministerial Dialogue on Covid-19 and Open Science, hosted by UNESCO on 30 March 2020.

The objective of the Virtual Ministerial Dialogue was to exchange views on the role of international cooperation in science and increased investment in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives of ministries in charge of science all over the world, including 77 ministers and governmental secretaries representing 122 countries and representative of the international organizations, including European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, former Vice President of Nicaragua and the World Health Organization, joined this online dialogue.

“The COVID-19 pandemic raises our awareness of the importance of science, both in research and international cooperation. The present crisis also demonstrates the urgency of stepping up information sharing through open science. The time has come for us to commit all together,” the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay declared.

The Minister of Science, Research and Technology of Iran, Prof. Mansour Gholami stressed the importance of “knowledge sharing” as the main pillar for Open Sciences and international scientific collaborations, saying: “We believe that Science is open and belongs to the whole international society and open sciences bring better life for peoples and suitable circumstance for policy-makers in war against Covid-19. Iran is ready to share any views and experiences on such international crisis.”

“We all depend on science to survive”, concluded Marcos Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication from Brazil.

Regarding open science, the agenda of the meeting featured:

The pooling of knowledge, measures to support scientific research, and the reduction of the knowledge gap among countries
The mobilization of decision makers, researchers, innovators, publishers and civil society to allow free access to scientific data, research findings, educational resources and research facilities
The Reinforcement of links between science and policy decisions, to meet societal needs
The opening of science to society while borders are closed

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