Infographic: Social Science and the Grand Challenges
The world faces complex global problems that must be addressed to ensure humanity a healthy and sustainable future. To address these grand challenges, scientists, social scientists, engineers and other researchers must collaborate across disciplines to advance solutions.
As a part of the Springer Nature Social Science Survey in 2017 we asked our 491 participants how they believe social science can contribute to tackling these challenges.
Take a look at the full infographic below for more details on each of the five grand challenges along with comments from our participants on the role that social science research plays in addressing them. Join the discussion online using the hashtags #SocSciMatters and #SN_GrandChallenges
For more information on Springer Nature's Grand Challenges Programme, featuring research from across Springer Nature, visit the portal here.
- Energy supply contributes over 70% of global CO2 emissions (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n10/full/nclimate3372.html)
- The developed world is now about 80% urban and this is expected to be true for the entire planet by around 2050, with some 2 billion people moving to cities (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7318//full/467912a.html)
- 828 million people live in slums today and the number keeps rising (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/)
- The world’s cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/)
- 2.0–4.9 °C – The likely rise in global temperature by 2100 (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n9/full/nclimate3352.html)
- From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19 cm as oceans expanded due to warming and ice melted. (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/)
- Arctic’s sea ice extent has shrunk in every successive decade since 1979, with 1.07 million km² of ice loss every decade (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/)
- Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1990 (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/)
- 0% - amount of WHO budget set aside for emergency response (Palgrave, 978-3-319-52006-3, (Palgrave, Coordinating Global Health Policy Responses)
- HIV is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age worldwide (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/)
- 85% treatment gap for mental health patients in lower income countries (Palgrave, The Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health)
- 22 Million – number of Americans to lose healthcare under draft Senate healthcare bill (according to the non-partisan congressional budget office https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/senate-republican-healthcare-bill-cbo-score-trump)
- Carbon Tracker and Grantham Institute study project that Electric cars of will make up 35% of the market by 2035 (http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Expect-the-Unexpected_CTI_Imperial.pdf)
- More than 30% of wetlands have been lost globally since 1970 (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment)
- 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields, since the 1900s (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment)
- About one in five persons in developing regions lives on less than $1.25 per day (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment)
Digitally Transformed World
- Within ten years the demand for human labour is projected to fall by an average of 16% in the OECD overall, with the largest impacts in South Korea, China, the USA, Japan, and Germany (Palgrave, Surviving the Machine Age)
- 85 percent of 3,000 executives polled expect AI to result in competitive advantage within five years (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/artificial-intelligence-the-gap-between-promise-and-practice/)
- 2,500,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data created globally every day https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/05/21/how-much-data-do-we-create-every-day-the-mind-blowing-stats-everyone-should-read/#49677e5260ba
- $67 billion – the current value of Bitcoin, one of more than 900 cryptocurrencies in use (http://uk.businessinsider.com/cryptocurrency-market-coin-trends-cap-value-2017-9)
All references live and up-to-date at the time of publication.