A day to remember that science should leave no one behind

On World Science Day for Peace, we celebrate science’s role in improving livelihoods, respecting nature, and integrating everyone to human progress.

By Janelle Zara

Nov 6, 2019

Each year, UNESCO designates November 10 as World Science Day for Peace and Development, an occasion to explore the role of science outside of the scientific community — how the discipline can become more accessible to ordinary people, and empower them to solve the urgent issues of contemporary life. 

This year’s theme, “Open Science, leaving no one behind,” particularly resonates with us at AZULIK, where we believe that cutting-edge technology can enrich the lives of all, rather than a privileged few. 

At our creative center SFER IK, we’ve spent the last years developing a dialogue between two distant centers of knowledge: Silicon Valley figures and the Maya communities of our area. Workshops that we held this summer sought new solutions to human problems through the back-and-forth exchange of knowledge, particularly on the construction of solar panels and the assembly of drones. 

In the near future, this exchange will result in pueblos that run on renewable energy, and remote communities with newfound access to medicines and other resources through the use of drones. Strengthening these communities allows for the preservation and greater reach of their rich ancestral knowledge, which the contemporary world is sorely lacking. We stand to learn much from their harmonious cohabitation with nature and their cultivation of the healing powers of plants. From here, the potential good for the future is limitless. 

Although our three foundational pillars — art, nature, and ancestral knowledge — appear at odds with science, technology plays a vital, central role to our endeavors in these areas. As AZULIK founder Roth once said, “We believe that, if we learn from knowledge of life and shared wisdom from indigenous communities (like Mayan), and if we learn about Western creativity regarding art, science, and technology, we will continuously be rediscovering and applying knowledge in new ways.”

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