Invest in Young Scientists to Really Change the World

Published: 2011-12-16

Graham Haylor, DirectorGraham Haylor, IFS Director

Remember those Millennium Development Goals? The more cynical amongst us predicted that as the target deadlines became closer, governments might distance themselves from the hard facts that were suggesting failure. But no! In September 2010, 192 Heads of State and Government, gathered at United Nations Headquarters, set instead an action agenda for achieving the MDGs. UN documents are not known for their brevity, so let me highlight 3 of their key priority areas, which I believe hold the key to making a difference:

  1. ‘Improving opportunities for young people through the creation of enabling environments to address the special needs of least developed countries’
  2. ‘Enhancing technological innovation in developing countries, through strengthened innovation, research and development capacity’ and
  3. ‘Promoting the strategic role of science and technology’

As Ban Ki-Moon said on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2011, “Too often in the debates that will shape our future, I see three groups missing. The poor … the young … and the planet”.

If, like us, you would like to shape a future that empowers the poor through supporting the young to manage the planet then take a few moments to read through the new IFS 10-year strategy:  IFS Strategy 2011-2020

In the next decade we aim to support excellent individual and collaborative research, to build capability of young scientists in the developing world, and to contribute innovation to sustainable management of biological and water resources.

Because....the scientists of tomorrow should be enabled to contribute to securing affordable food, water and energy for a rising population, while their scope for action is constrained by the urgent challenge of environmental sustainability.



  1. Enoch Achigan-Dako, Jan 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Happy New Year IFS Fellows!

    Science and education are certainly at the core of any development agenda and i believe that IFS has always taken the right side. I do not personally take it as good news that the new MDG agenda listed the young as an important target group. If at least part of the resources of the MDGs programmes can be allocated to IFS to strengthen higher education in developing countries we would have success stories to tell.
    In any case I encourage you Mr. Haylor not only to keep an eyes on what is cooking at the MDG side but to find a way to get embarked for our common sake. Outsiders rarely have a voice.

    We love the new website!

  2. Cristian Desmarchelier, Jan 12, 2012 at 07:23 PM

    Great job on your new website! Congratulations and all the best for my friends at IFS in 2012
    Cristian - Argentina

  3. Henrik Hovmöller, Dec 29, 2011 at 07:24 PM

    Hello all at IFS! I really like the new website! More professional and easier to access the contents!

    Happy New Year!


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