The ISC has a growing global membership that brings together over 230 organizations, including international scientific unions and associations from natural and social sciences, and the humanities, and national and regional scientific organizations such as academies and research councils.
The ISC was created in 2018 as the result of a merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC).
Advancing human development within sustainable planetary and social boundaries is the most important challenge for humanity and for science. To deliver on the 2030 Agenda and its 17 sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs), we must urgently intensify fair and equitable transformations to sustainability across all sectors – from science, policy, business and civil society.
Learn more about the ISC through our introductory brochure in six languages.
The vision of the ISC is to advance science as a global public good. Scientific knowledge, data and expertise must be universally accessible and its benefits universally shared. The practice of science must be inclusive and equitable, also in opportunities for scientific education and capacity development.
Learn more about ISC’s vision in this paper Science as a Global Public Good
The mission of the ISC is to act as the global voice for science. As part of that mission, the ISC:
- Speaks for the value of all science and the need for evidence-informed understanding and decision-making
- Stimulates and supports international scientific research and scholarship on major issues of global concern
- Articulates scientific knowledge on such issues in the public domain
- Promotes the continued and equal advancement of scientific rigour, creativity and relevance in all parts of the world
- Defends the free and responsible practice of science.
ISC Core Values
The core values to be upheld in the Council’s work, governance and partnerships will be:
- Excellence and professionalism;
- Inclusivity and diversity;
- Transparency and integrity; and
- Innovation and sustainability.
How we define science
Taken from our paper, Science as a Global Public Good:
The word science is used to refer to the systematic organization of knowledge that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. It is inclusive of the natural (including physical, mathematical and life) science and social (including behavioural and economic) science domains, which represent the ISC’s primary focus, as well as the humanities, medical, health, computer and engineering sciences. It is recognized that there is no single word or phrase in English (though there are in other languages) that adequately describes this knowledge community. It is hoped that this shorthand will be accepted in the sense intended.
The ISC membership provides the foundation for its work. Through its activities, the ISC aims to create opportunities for its Members to participate in important scientific conversations and activities, to showcase their scientific contributions at the international level, and to connect to each other and to influential networks worldwide.
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The ISC convenes the scientific expertise and resources needed to lead on catalyzing, incubating and coordinating impactful international action on issues of major scientific and public importance. The Council’s activities are driven by its Action Plan.
Learn more about What we do
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The ISC is governed by an international Governing Board which provides scientific and strategic leadership for the organization, and is advised on key aspects of its work by a number of Advisory Bodies. The ISC’s global headquarters are located in Paris, France. There are Regional Focal Points for Asia and the Pacific, and Latin American and the Caribbean. A future focal point will be announced in the coming years for Africa. A General Assembly of all Members is convened every three years.
Learn more about Governance