The Action Plan sets out the International Science Council’s activities over the next two and a half years. Its most important purpose is to form a practical framework for the ISC’s work until the end of 2021, and to work towards our vision of science as a global public good.

The Action Plan is intended to be a living document, allowing the ISC the flexibility to respond to new and emerging opportunities, and to adapt to ongoing strategic reflection and development. It will also provide a basis for continual monitoring and progress reporting to members and other stakeholders.

The photo of vascular tissue from a stem of the maize plant allows us to reflect on how we grow our food sustainably and responsibly, feed the population,lift people out of poverty, work towards the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ultimately, the crucial role that science has in identifying transformative pathways towards the sustainable and equitable use of planetary resources.


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Advancing Science as a Global Public Good: Action Plan 2019-2021 marks the culmination of many months of Board discussions, consultation within the ISC membership and with the broader international science community. It represents an ambitious programme of much-needed initiatives that will position the ISC as an impactful global voice for science in four domains:

  1. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  2. The Digital Revolution
  3. Science in Policy and Public Discourse
  4. The Evolution of Science and Science Systems

The Plan aims to motivate and activate our growing membership to engage in the ISC’s science projects and programmes. Implementing the Plan will require partnering with our members, and with other international scientific organizations, funders, and stakeholders who share and are inspired by the ambitions captured in the document.

At the heart of the Plan is a selection of projects and programmes that are relevant to all scientific fields and all parts of the world. Some of these are already in progress; others are ready for development. Many encompass and build on ongoing ISC activities, including the Council’s portfolio of international research programmes, scientific committees, networks, data bodies and observing systems.

We invite you to explore how the Council’s projects have progressed since the launch of the Action Plan in September 2019, including the addition of some new projects listed below.


Domain 1: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


Domain 2: The Digital Revolution


Domain 3: Science in Policy and Public Discourse


Domain 4: The Evolution of Science and Science Systems


The ISC invites you to download the Action Plan (in Full or Mobile version) and work with us to advance science as a global public good.


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