2010 was a year of contrasts for those seeking to boost the role of science in the development agenda. Many new initiatives were launched; some took root, others ran into difficulties. And progress in meeting big challenges, such as conserving biodiversity and tackling climate change, remained slow.
Several organisations had chosen 2010 as the target date for achieving specific goals. Perhaps the most ambitious was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which aimed to "significantly curb" biodiversity loss by this date. But biodiversity campaigners fell spectacularly short of achieving this and discussed their failures this year, fearing that the public is oblivious to their messages. Some concluded that biodiversity must be linked more tightly to people's fates.