Combating systemic racism and other forms of discrimination

This project convenes a global dialogue for collective and impactful action on systemic racism and other forms of discrimination.

As the “global voice for science” the ISC must be responsive to public priorities and concerns. It must promote and apply ways of working that maximize the role of scientific understanding in policy and in public discourse. And it must work to ensure that the science system itself is efficient and creative in these purposes.

On 9 June 2020, in response to the global movement responding to the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020, the ISC’s Governing Board agreed to commit to doing something beyond reiterating existing ISC principles by making a statement on Combating systemic racism and other forms of discrimination. The statement called on our members and international partners to join us in undertaking urgent action:

  • to gather existing knowledge on discrimination in science;
  • to convene a global dialogue within and beyond the institutions of science; and
  • to agree on additional concrete steps aimed at correcting systemic discrimination in science.

Statement on combating systemic racism and other forms of discrimination

In advocating the free and responsible practice of science, the Council promotes equitable opportunities for access to science and its benefits, and opposes discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Global dialogue for collective and impactful action

Key milestones

✅ The ISC convened a meeting with its global partners on 29 June 2020 to exchange information and to brainstorm the possibility of collective and impactful action. The partners included:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Committee of Concerned Scientists
  • Global Young Academy
  • Interacademy Partnership
  • Scholars at Risk
  • The International Association of Universities
  • The International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences
  • The International Network of Human Rights for Academies and Scholarly Societies
  • The World Academy of Sciences
  • The World Federation of Engineering Organisations

✅ In partnership with Falling Walls, the ISC hosts virtual events on the topic of combating systemic discrimination in science.

✅ The ISC has collaborated with Nature careers on a special mini series for their podcast ‘Working Scientist’.

FEATURED: Nature ‘Working Scientist’

The ISC is supporting a mini-series of the Nature ‘Working Scientist’ podcast dedicated to diversity in science – why it matters, and how to improve it. Learn more.

In the first episode, ISC CEO Heide Hackmann and Anthony Bogues examine why diversity is so important for science in this episode of ‘Science Diversified’ (starting at 13:50). First up, we hear how schools outreach teams are challenging stereotypes about scientists.

Download the MP3

More information on next steps coming soon.



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