Action plan

The ISC’s inaugural Action Plan, Advancing Science as a Global Public Good, reached the end of its cycle in 2021, and the Council began a consultation process with members to develop a new framework for the ISC’s work until the end of 2024.

Action plan

A writing team including board members Geoffrey Boulton, Pearl Dykstra, Daya Reddy and inaugural CEO Heide Hackmann produced the draft plan, building on the existing structure of the Council’s four domains of work and adding a fifth.

The five domains are: 

  1. Global Sustainability 
  2. Converging Science and Technology in a Digital Era 
  3. Science in Policy and Public Discourse 
  4. Changing Practices in Science and Science Systems 
  5. Freedom and Responsibility in Science 

‘I look at the five domains and – as you are – we are very interested in all of them. In particular Global Sustainability.’

Yukio Himiyama, International Geographical Union

As part of the consultation process, 60 participants from the ISC membership and its affiliated bodies took part in online dialogues to share their views on the development of the Plan, and a further 21 members responded to the online portal with comments and suggestions. Ninety per cent of respondents said that the new Action Plan responded appropriately to the ISC’s vision and mission. 

‘I want to congratulate it because this is very strong plan, it is really remarkable how the ISC is now a global voice for science.’ 

Karina Batthyány, Latin American Council of Social Sciences 

During the consultation, members raised issues around university-level education in scientific disciplines, the public value of science and the effects of misinformation, and mechanisms for ISC Members to be involved in the Council’s projects. Scientific unions stressed their keenness to pursue collaborative and funded programmes that respond to today’s challenges.  

‘Congratulations for this new plan.’

Orhan Altan, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 

Through this review process, the Council responded and committed to establishing effective pathways for members to be more directly and actively involved in the Council’s scientific activities. One such activity would be to solicit members’ ideas for new international activities on an annual basis, for which the board could allocate up to €100,000 per annum for projects that supported the five domains. 

The new Action Plan 2022–2024, ‘Science and Society in Transition’ was launched in September 2021.  

‘The ISC’s second Action Plan is published at an important inflection point for the Council and for science and its relationship to wider society. The inaugural Governing Board under the leadership of Daya Reddy left the ISC in a very good position to accelerate its impact and profile. Board members, the CEO and the ISC Secretariat must be enthusiastically acknowledged for what they have achieved in the first three years since the Council’s establishment.’  

Peter Gluckman, ISC President 

The new plan, with 27 scientific projects and activities led in collaboration with 70 partners, provides for the establishment of an ISC fellowship, the establishment of regional focal points and a priority focus on fundraising in order to position the ISC as the recognized global voice for science. 

Science and society in transition: ISC Action Plan 2022-2024

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Maize root. Image by Dr Keith Wheeler / Science Photo Library.

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