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Commonwealth Science Conference 2021

About the conference

Co-organised by the Royal Society and the African Academy of Sciences, and funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Commonwealth Science Conference 2021 will take place 22-26 February 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference will bring together outstanding early careers researchers and leading scientists from across the Commonwealth to improve research links, in order to facilitate joint work on addressing global development challenges. The conference aims to inspire young scientists; to develop new networks of outstanding early career researchers from across the Commonwealth and contribute to research capacity strengthening in Commonwealth countries; and to facilitate collaborations between early career researchers. 

The last Commonwealth Science Conference took place in Singapore in June 2017 and the one before that in Bangalore in November 2014.


Under the theme Science for a Sustainable Future, the programme will include talks from some of the most eminent scientists from across the Commonwealth on global challenges including the circular economy, sustainable energy, biodiversity, oceans, health transitions and climate resilience. 

Update: Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Three ‘feeder’ meetings were due to take place in 2020 in the lead up to the Commonwealth Science Conference to contribute to the discussions in Nairobi in 2021. Following careful consideration of official advice on the Covid-19 pandemic, we made the difficult decision to cancel the first two meetings which were planned to take place in March in Kingston, Jamaica and in April in Kigali, Rwanda on Extreme Weather and Climate Forecasting and Extreme Weather and its Impact on Human Development; and the Circular Economy respectively. We are continuing with planning for the third meeting in Fiji on Oceans Science in Autumn 2020 but will continue to monitor developments relating to the Covid-19 outbreak to assess the viability of this meeting.

The open call for early careers researchers to apply for travel grants to cover the cost of attending the Commonwealth Science Conference was due to open on 25 March 2020. Given the uncertainty of the situation, we have decided not to launch this open call for the time being. 

We are considering the best way forward for the programme and will share an update in due course. 

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