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In 2015, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the United Nations University (UNU) (with the assistance of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York) hosted the “Measuring Sustainable Development” conference, which brought together researchers, policy makers, and political/civil society organizers to ask “How can science contribute to sustainable development?” A year later, the German Committee Future Earth, Future Earth, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) organized the “Foresight workshop on science needs in implementing the SDG framework” to establish a streamlined process for identifying and solving Sustainable Development Goal obstacles.

These joint conferences provided an inclusive space for stimulating discussions and productive interaction. The results proved that science could 1) help us better understand the interlinkages between the SDGs and their inherent challenges, and 2) track the progress of their achievement. To summarize both meetings and highlight recommendations for action and research opportunities, all aforementioned parties produced a report entitled “The Contribution of Science in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.”