The new 2030 sustainable development agenda is likely to dominate policy and academic debates at both national and international levels over next 15 years and beyond. It is, therefore, a crucial time to critically reflect how the SDGs are likely to shape - and be shaped by - the wider research community. Each peer-reviewed paper will address the common question of: “how is the SDG agenda influencing scholarly debates in different research areas, and vice-versa?”. We foresee these papers and the special issue providing disciplinary and trans-disciplinary perspectives, and provoking discussion and debate to inform the policy-science interface around the SDGs and the broader 2030 sustainable development agenda.
In the light of the opportunities presented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) debate is being reignited to understand the connections between human population dynamics (including rapid population growth) and sustainable development. Sustainable development is seriously affected by human population dynamics yet programme planners too often fail to consider them in development programming, casting doubt on the sustainability of such programming.