In addition to its programs, RASIT’s international efforts and expertise is organized around the following four themes.

    Climate change, poverty, energy and food security, biodiversity and population change is shaping the 21st century. These
    issues will alter how humans live, the balance of risks that they face, and the ways that people govern a more
    interdependent world. Tackling these challenges will require the best available science: to measure and predict impacts; to
    identify solutions; and to evaluate options and pathways for adaptation.

    We cannot predict the 21st century counterparts to quantum theory, nor where the great innovators of the future will get
    their formative training and inspiration. But one thing seems certain: unless we get smarter, we’ll get poorer. Our relative
    standing will sink unless some of the best ideas of the 21st century germinate and are exploited. The pressures of an
    economic downturn, the pace of globalization and the urgency of moving to a low-carbon economy, require policy makers to
    rethink established links between the creation of knowledge and long-term prosperity.

    Many aspects of foreign policy have scientific components. Science can act as a source of 'soft power' by improving a
    country’s influence on the international stage. And the networks of cooperation that underpin science are ideally placed to
    broker solutions to global problems.

    The relationship between science and politics is sometimes uneasy. Now and then, particular developments spark
    controversy or become condensation points for wider concern. Whether it is the advances of biotechnology or research with
    ‘dual use’ applications in warfare or terrorism, the science and innovation funding, or the capacity to innovate, presents us
    with dilemmas as well as opportunities. We need to generate approaches to the governance of science that can learn from
    past mistakes, cope with uncertainty, and harness technological change for the common good.
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