The Philea Research Forum Conference 2022, “Foundations, science and equality – what are the key elements for success?” will take place on 21-22 April in Lisbon, hosted by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Inequalities in the field of science are on the rise, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the disparities affecting scientists in all disciplines. Across the globe, inequalities are widening, opportunities for those who come from more disadvantaged backgrounds are decreasing, and, as a result, research has a reduced pool of people and talent to draw upon. Moreover, inequities come in different forms, depending on gender, geography, or socio-economic backgrounds, making it ever more complex to fully grasp the roots and consequences of this phenomenon.
The Research Forum is focusing its biannual conference on this topic, with the aim of fostering an open discussion between the philanthropic players in the field and universities, research institutes, public authorities, and any other stakeholders in this ecosystem. As science and technology are becoming increasingly instrumental in addressing the unprecedented societal challenges we face today, this conversation is timely. Philanthropy builds bridges between science, technology, and society at large, and does so in different ways: as a funder, as a catalyst of partnerships, as well as an amplifier of good practices to foster the uptake of public goods. Supporting scientific research is a guarantee of a strong sense of social participation, and encourages the willingness to learn, build and transform knowledge ‒ but access to science is unequal around the world. Which are the drivers for positive change that could reduce inequalities in science? How can funders proactively help to eradicate these structural problems?
The objectives of the conference are to further explore and understand:
- The common causes and trends leading to inequalities in the different areas of research
- The solutions that could support the transition towards a fairer research sector/research culture.
- The critical role of philanthropy as an accelerator of this transition and the importance of not acting in isolation, but in the context of a wider ecosystem composed of different stakeholders
- The role of science in understanding and fighting inequalities in society
Moderated by Quentin Cooper, science journalist and facilitator, this hybrid event will facilitate discussions between experts and practitioners of the sector around four thematic areas:
- Gender inequality
- Regional (North/South) disparities
- Socio-economic barriers
- Digital challenges
We believe that philanthropy has a key role to play as an accelerator in finding solutions to inequalities through funding projects on the ground, supporting advocacy, raising awareness and testing innovative solutions.