The International Science Council (ISC) works at the global level to catalyse and convene scientific expertise, advice and influence on issues of major concern to both science and society.

About us

The International Science Council (ISC) is a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together more than 250 international scientific Unions and Associations, national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils, international Federations and Societies, and Young Academies and Associations.

The ISC is an international non-government organization created in 2018 as the result of a merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). The ISC is headquartered in Paris, France, and has Regional Focal Points in Asia and the Pacific, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science, Latin America and the Caribbean, hosted by the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, an office for the United Nations in New York, United States, and is in partnership with Future Africa, a pan-African organization based in South Africa, to explore the possibilities of a regional presence in Africa.

ISC Introduction

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 and our introductory video.

ISC vision

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The vision of the ISC is 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

ISC mission

ropes in circles

The mission of the Council is to be the global voice for science.

The Council seeks to provide a powerful and credible global voice that is respected in both the public and policy domains and within the scientific community. It will use that voice to:

i. Speak for the value of all science and the need for evidence-informed understanding and decision-making at all levels, from local to global;
ii. Stimulate and support international, interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly among Members of the Council, on scientific research and scholarship on issues of global concern;
iii. Articulate scientific knowledge on issues of global concern in the public and policy domains;
iv. Promote and assist science diplomacy, particularly where it advances the common good and addresses global challenges;
v. Promote the continued and equal advancement of scientific rigour, creativity and relevance in all parts of the world;
vi. Assist the scientific community and relevant stakeholders in their respective roles in the conduct of science and in the face of the evolution of science systems;
vii. Defend and promote the free and responsible practice of science.

ISC Core Values

The core values that the Council upholds in its work, governance and partnerships are:

  • Excellence;
  • Inclusivity and diversity;
  • Integrity, transparency and respect;
  • Collaborativeness;
  • Sustainability.

Theory of Change

The ISC Theory of Change is a living document describing the ISC’s current priorities, strategy, activities and goals. Its intended impact includes:

  • Reduced existential risks
  • Resilience and sustainability
  • Greater appreciation of science all over the world
  • Science systems evolving to meet societal needs

How we define science

Global public good header image

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.

ISC Members

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.

Learn more about Membership

ISC activities

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

See all of our Publications

ISC structure

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 is governed by its Statutes and Rules of Procedure.

The Council’s principal source of funding is dues from Members. Other sources of income include grants from the Government of France, the ISC’s host country, as well as various organizations and foundations.

Learn more about Governance

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