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Experts around the world – including all of those who have gathered in New York this week for the UN Ocean Conference – are wrestling with individual targets or goals.The International Council for Science (ICSU) recently brought together 22 scientists from various fields – including oceanography, epidemiology, agronomy, and energy economics – to come up with SDG-specific insights for world leaders to follow.While we have long known that the SDGs interact with one another, the ICSU study is the first time that these interactions have been systematically quantified.For example, we selected the four SDGs relating to hunger, health, energy, and oceans, and then identified every possible interaction between them and the other goals and targets. By applying this scale to different SDG relationships, we were able to answer some important questions. For example, we could determine if protecting the oceans will stifle economic growth and urban development in a particular country or region. Owing to the sheer scale of the SDGs, the participants had to hash out their differences, and develop a common language to devise the best way forward.Whether science really will save the world remains to be seen.
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