A new Governing Board has been appointed to lead the International Science Council (ISC), an international non-governmental organization that works to provide a global voice for science. The Governing Board is a central decision-making body of the Council, which was formed in 2018 by the merger of the International Council of Science (ICSU), representing the natural sciences, and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).
At the 2nd ISC General Assembly, which is currently taking place, ISC Members elected four Officers of the Governing Board and ten Ordinary Members to join the incoming President of the ISC, Peter Gluckman, member of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, New Zaeland, who takes up his presidency at the conclusion of the 2021 General Assembly.
Motoko Kotani, member of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), has been elected as President-Elect, assuming the Presidency at the next General Assembly in 2024.
Anne Husebekk has been elected as Vice-President for Freedom and Responsibility in Science, Salim Abdool Karim (chair of the working group to produce the forthcoming IAP communiqué on international health data sharing during emergencies) as Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement, and Sawako Shirahase as Vice-President for Finance of the Council.
The ten Ordinary Members of the Governing Board elected today are: Karina Batthyány; Françoise Baylis; Geoffrey Boulton; Melody Burkins; Mei-Hung Chiu; Pamela Matson; Helena Nader (co-chair of the Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences, IAP's regional network for the Americas); Walter Oyawa; Maria Paradiso; Martin Visbeck. The Chief Executive Officer, Heide Hackmann, is an ex-officio Member of the Governing Board.
“The new Board takes on leadership of the ISC at a critical time and I am honoured and privileged to be given the responsibility of chairing the Board,” said Peter Gluckman, incoming President of the ISC. Membership of the Governing Board reflects the multi-disciplinarity of the Council’s membership base, as well as regional and gender diversity.
The new Governing Board faces the ongoing challenge of ensuring that science has an increasing impact on the multilateral agenda. The natural and social sciences have a critical role to play as the world faces complex challenges from COVID-19 to climate change, and from conflict reduction to inequality, health inequalities, poverty, food, water and energy challenges, and coexistence with rapidly advancing technologies. These issues are compounded by disinformation and the politicisation of knowledge. At the same time, the nature and conduct of science is changing rapidly and the ISC has a critical role to play in working with the scientific community, the policy community and society to ensure better outcomes for people and the planet.
Amongst its duties, the Governing Board provides strategic leadership and develops priority activity and business plans for approval by the General Assembly, as well as monitoring the implementation and performance of such plans. The Board oversees the scientific activities and other operations of the Council and reports to the General Assembly, as well as proposing budgetary outlines and the scale of annual dues to be paid by Members.