Protecting freedom, integrity and security in science and research, tackling climate change, protecting the oceans and biodiversity and investing in research on the Post COVID-19 condition were some of the topics discussed at the G7 Science Ministers’ Meeting guided by Germany and held in Frankfurt am Main.
The Meeting was attended by the Italian Minister of University and Research Maria Cristina Messa and by her counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In the presence of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Maryia Gabriel, the Ministers emphasized the pivotal role of science andresearch in ensuring a more equitable and sustainable future, discussing possible joint initiatives to be launched. A joint statement on the topics discussed was issued at the end of the Meeting.
“As G7, we must not only protect but also promote the fundamental principles of our democracies, such as freedom in science and research and the right to education, which also provide the basis for international collaborations,” explained Minister Messa during the Meeting.
“Open Science is a reality. We have seen it during the COVID-19 pandemic and I am sure we will also see it in climate change studies because, for such an important issue, access to data and research results will be essential for achieving real sustainability in the future,” added Maria Cristina Messa. “The legacy of these years of pandemic must be the stimulus to work together also on science communication to make citizens more aware of what academic freedom means and of the benefits that research can produce for them.”
With regard to biodiversity, the Minister pointed out that in Italy “we have two major projects: the European Sustainable Blue Economy Partnership, which our country is preparing to coordinate, and a National Biodiversity Centre that will be coordinated by the National Research Council, the CNR, with a significant public-private supply chain”.
With regard to Coronavirus and the Post COVID-19 condition, Maria Cristina Messa pointed out: “It is necessary to continue to invest heavily in scientific research on this condition and share information on vaccine efficacy, acute and post-acute care, rehabilitation, monitoring and long-term care of patients and best practices for the diverse population groups affected. Important synergies can be achieved through the European BeReady action which will specifically focus on developing a new strategic research and innovation agenda on pandemic preparedness.”