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Scientific leaders gather at global summit in Denmark to advance knowledge and solutions on health and sustainability

Leading scientists, philanthropists, and policymakers from around the world are coming together in Denmark at the Global Science Summit, hosted by the Novo Nordisk Foundation as part of the organisation’s 100-year anniversary. The goal is to explore the interaction between the world’s biggest health and sustainability challenges and pave the way for new scientific breakthroughs.

Speakers include Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center; and Dr. John-Arne Røttingen, CEO of Wellcome. 

The summit is taking place on 6-7 May 2024 in Helsingør and focuses on the growing global burden of non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, and climate change, and the interplay between them.  

Through keynote speeches and panel discussions, participants will share insights on how changes in climate are impacting food systems and the spread of disease, how cities and communities around the world are developing resilience and solutions, and how technology can help translate advances in research into real-world innovations. 

“At the Novo Nordisk Foundation, we work to improve the health of people and the planet,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Foundation. “These are closely connected but, all too often, scientific research occurs in silos and the outcomes don’t meet the needs of a world facing complex challenges.  

“By bringing together around 150 leading experts from across disciplines, sectors, and geographies, we hope to catalyse the development of new knowledge that can lead to transformative, accessible solutions for people facing disease, food insecurity, and the devastation wrought by climate change.” 

New knowledge on global crises 

The world faces many crises, from the threat of new pathogens and the rapid growth of cardiometabolic diseases to conflicts, debt crises, and climate change, many of which are interrelated. In parts of the world, climate change, conflict, poverty, and unsustainable agricultural practices are driving high levels of acute food insecurity and undernutrition, compromising immune levels.  

There is also growing evidence that cardiometabolic diseases (such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack and stroke) interact with infectious diseases in complex ways that influence the risk and severity of both types of disease. For example, having diabetes increases both the risk of developing tuberculosis and the risk of dying from it. 

The goal of the Global Science Summit is to enable the exchange and development of knowledge about these interactions and about the financial or technological barriers to implementing solutions, ultimately leading to innovations that benefit those who need them most. 

In conjunction with the summit, the Novo Nordisk Foundation will issue an international open call for research projects related to the theme, with the goal of catalysing science-based solutions to global challenges. Further information will be available on the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s channels from 6 May. 

Further information 

Judith Vonberg, Communications Specialist, [email protected]