Who's Who at the UN's Rio+20 Summit?

By Sarah Laskow - 2012-06-20T16:51:58Z

Photograph by David Maung/Bloomberg

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Science and Technology

Scientists, engineers, architects and technologists just want to help. To do so, they need nations to make it clear how science and policy will work together on the world's great issues.

Climate scientists have guided policy makers for more than 20 years through periodic assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, providing a working example of scientist-policy maker interaction. The scientists' Major Group in Rio similarly recommends regular reviews of the state of the planet, perhaps including the framework of planetary ecological boundaries introduced in 2009. This group also would like to develop -- and see policy makers adopt -- science-based indicators of human progress that go beyond traditional measures such as GDP.

Bottles with algae are cultivated for biofuel research at the Sapphire Energy Inc. facility in San Diego, California, in March.

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