An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General

"Science at the Service of Society & Humanity"

His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres Secretary-General                          
United Nations Headquarters                                                                                                
New York City


Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

Our world is grappling with crisis and suffering of unaccounted magnitude. As a global fellowship of material scientists, engineers, thought leaders and innovators, we call for urgency, action and unity in creation of a global future preparedness infrastructure that would enable and mobilize the international material science and engineering community to better respond to global health emergencies and future threats to humankind.

Mr. Secretary-General, we embrace your words spoken earlier this year; “This is a time for science and solidarity.”  We respectfully request further action and ask for your urgent help to convene a virtual gathering of governments, academia, private industry, and other thought leaders to better understand the role of science and engineering in rapid crisis response and to shape national and international agendas that can facilitate and expedite science-based innovation at critical times such as these.

Your leadership during this pandemic and your call for “Trust in science, institutions and in one another” must be heeded and transformed into action and we stand ready to participate and share our collective thoughts and expertise.
We the undersigned embrace the following three axioms

I. Material science and engineering are crucial in responding to global challenges such as Covid-19. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations shed light on the interconnectivity of the challenges our world is facing and the intertwined nature of the methodologies we need to deploy to address these challenges. From tackling climate change, increased demand in energy, to challenges with transportation, connectivity, food and water supply and health emergencies such as the current pandemic; material science & engineering play a pivotal role and need to be further enabled to provide the multi-functional tools we need for solving challenges of humanity.

II.
Science knows no boundaries and borders. Complex global challenges such as pandemics can only be mitigated by embracing innovative approaches enabled by collaborative science. Transcending territories, politics, ideologies, cultures, and scientific disciplines, we must come together, learn from each other, and respect the science-based knowledge created by one another.  Only through international dialogue and partnership across domains, sectors, geographies, and academic disciplines will we create a shared global strategy and vision to develop scientific solutions to combat the current and future world crises.

III.
This is time for action and change. The momentum fueled by the current pandemic must be transformed into building a new shared vision: a problem-driven, international framework for science to respond swiftly and effectively to global challenges. However, the development and implementation of such infrastructure requires governments and policymakers across the world to work together to reform and introduce policies that enable cross-country exchange of ideas, resources, and funding of collaborative science to respond to global crises.  

Mr. Secretary-General, we request your urgent call to action by convening a UN-sanctioned effort so that our community may assist others in a global, solution oriented process. As a committed fellowship of material scientists, innovators and stakeholders who have convened across borders, cultures, and disciplines, we offer to work collectively and collaboratively through this crisis and the next. We stand together to co-create a future where science can fulfill its true potential in solving global challenges at the service of society and humanity.


With our sincerest regards,

Dr. Zina Jarrahi Cinker, AMPT Director General

Signatories:
Sir Konstantin Novoselov | Nobel Laureate in Physics , Professor at University of Singapore
Alba Vergés i Bosch | Minister of Health of Catalonia
Dr. Martin F.H. Schuurmans | Founding Chairman of European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Netherlands
Dr. Antonio Castro Neto | Director of CA2DM Center at University of Singapore
Dr. Philip Kim | Professor at Harvard university, USA
Dr. Andrea Ferrari | Director of Cambridge Graphene Centre, University of Cambridge, UK
Dr. Yury Gogotsi | Director of Nanomaterials Institute | Drexel University, USA
Dr. Matthew Fisher | Buckley Prize laureate, Professor at University of California Santa Barbara, USA
John Hoffman | CEO at GSMA ltd, US
Dr. Frank Koppens | Group Leader at ICFO, Spain
Dr. Bonaventura Clotet | Head of Infectious Disease at HUGTiP, Spain
James Baker | CEO at Graphene@Manchester, University of Manchester, UK
Dr. Lluis Torner | Founder and Director at ICFO, Spain
Dr. Kari Hjelt | Head of Innovation at Graphene Flagship, Sweden
Dr. Jiaxing Huang | Professor at Northwestern University, USA
Dr. Ahmed Busnaina | Director of NSF Nanoscale Science at Northeastern University, USA
Erik Gatenholm | CEO at Celink Corporation, Sweden
Giulio Cesareo | CEO Directa Plus, Italy
Dr. Carlo Iorio | CEO YSBC, Belgium
Dr. Deji Akinwande | Professor at University of Texas Austin, USA
Dr. Hailin Peng | Professor at Peking University, China
Dr. Norman Tolk | Professor at Vanderbilt University, USA
Luca Venza | Founder of BTTG at IESE Business School, Barcelona
Yichun Li | Secretary General of China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry, China
Yan Hui | Chairman at Mianyang Maxwell Science & Technology, China

And over a thousand other global thought leaders and stakeholders

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Materials For What Really Matters

A Virtual Global Forum | April 28-29

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The 2-Day event will bring together thought leaders, policy makers, scientists, business and government delegates, diplomatic liaisons and civil societies to develop a shared vision for Material Science responding to complex, multi scale challenges of global magnitude.

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