SIAM News Blog

Celebrating the Launch of the Mathematics for Action Toolkit

Mathematics is extremely relevant to increasing our planet’s resilience and sustainability and better understanding the challenges it faces. To that end, the global mathematics community recently collaborated to produce a toolkit titled Mathematics for Action: Supporting Science-Based Decision Making. As an outgrowth of a worldwide effort called Mathematics of Planet Earth, the toolkit is published by UNESCO and closely connected to the United Nations Member States’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that represent an urgent call to action for all countries to collectively tackle societal and planetary challenges.

The policy-oriented, open access toolkit comprises a collection of two-page briefs that pertain to different SDGs and seek to inform decision-makers, scientific and technical advisors, scientific attachés, parliamentarians, and diplomats about relevant applications of mathematics and statistics. It also publicizes mathematics’ relevance to global challenges, explores mathematical modeling’s ability to address “what-if” scenarios, and reveals innovative opportunities for science-based decision-making.

The toolkit was produced by the following international consortium of experts under the management of Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM): African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), African Mathematical Union (AMU), CRM, UNESCO Cat II Centre CIMPA, European Mathematical Society (EMS), Institut des Sciences Mathématiques et de leurs Interactions (INSMI/CNRS), Institut de Valorisation des Données (IVADO), International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), International Mathematical Union (IMU), and International Science Council (ISC). The 32 authors come from the five UNESCO regions. A multinational team led by Christiane Rousseau of CRM edited the document, with scientific editing and design by Barbara Cozzens of Whistling Thorn Strategies.

The toolkit was launched virtually during an online webinar on March 14, 2022, which is the International Day of Mathematics. It is now freely available on UNESCO’s website

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