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G8 science ministers and national science academies meet at Royal Society

12 June 2013

Royal Society will play host today to the first ever G8 joint science ministers and national science academies meeting.

Topics to be discussed include global challenges and the scientific response, with a particular emphasis on antimicrobial resistance.  The global research infrastructure, open data and challenges for the research community and open access to published research outputs are also on the agenda.

The meeting is being jointly chaired by Science Minister David Willetts and President of the Royal Society, Paul Nurse.  It is part of the UK presidency of the G8.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Paul Nurse said:

“Climate change and the need to feed and provide healthcare for a growing global population are just some of the international challenges that humanity is having to face up to.  Science may well help us to resolve some of these problems, if we let it.

There is a growing realisation that the overuse of antibiotics and a failure to invest in new treatments could leave us without many of the tools that doctors take for granted today.  Healthcare could be set back many decades with people dying from infections that are easily treated now.

Today’s meeting of G8 science ministers and national science academies should be a step in the right direction to help curb threats such as antimicrobial resistance.  These sorts of threats are not the concerns of any one country – they are global dangers that require a global response.  It is encouraging that the UK G8 Presidency is putting the power of science near the top of its agenda.”