HESI’s ability to remain relevant and address contemporary scientific issues requires active effort to survey the landscape of new and emerging scientific and societal challenges impacting human and environmental health and safety. HESI first undertook a Science Foresight scoping activity in 2016 as an update to a prior scientific issue mapping exercise (Smith et al., 2008, doi.org/10.1080/10408440802486378.) The goal of these forward-looking exercises is to conduct a horizon scan of environmental, human and societal influences that may impact HESI’s scientific portfolio or stakeholders. The Foresight Strategy is envisioned as a resource for informing organizational scientific priorities and as a communication and outreach tool. The current Foresight Strategy includes projections of anticipated issues over the next 7-10 years.
The 2021 Foresight Strategy was developed using a similar process to that used to develop the 2016 Science Foresight document. Specifically, the HESI Board of Trustees, Emerging Issues Committee and Scientific Committee leaders were asked to respond to questions on the following topics: current or evolving technology advances, current or evolving human and environmental health challenges, and current or evolving societal or regulatory influences as related to their programs and in general. These topics were synthesized as the ‘HESI Stakeholder View’ columns. Additionally, HESI worked with the Program Strategy and Stewardship (PSSC) and Emerging Issues Committees (EIC) to identify a series of forecasting reports/studies developed by key external national, international, and supranational organizations (governmental, NGO, others) around the globe. The projections from these documents were summarized as the ‘External Source View’.