Global science research serves the needs of the Global North, and is driven by the values and interests of a small number of companies, governments and funding bodies, finds a major new international study published today. As such, the authors find, science, technology and innovation research is not focused on the world’s most pressing problems including taking climate action, addressing complex underlying social issues, tackling hunger and promoting good health and wellbeing.

This is all according to a major new report published today (Thursday 20 October) by an international collaboration led by the University of Sussex, along with the UN Development Programme; the University College London (UCL) Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP); the United Nations University; the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina; the Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy, India; Leiden University, The Netherlands; the Graduate School of Technology Management, South Africa; and Nesta, UK.

Changing directions: Steering science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals found that research and innovation around the world is not focused on meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are a framework set up to address and drive change across all areas of social justice and environmental issues.