Changing practices in science systems – mission science, transdisciplinary research and communicating science

Beyond representing the voice of science in the global fora, the ISC strives to make science systems more equitable and inclusive of a wider range of voices, institutions and knowledge types, including marginalized perspectives, indigenous knowledge and stakeholders without scientific training.

These efforts also address the need for increased opportunities for international research collaboration, particularly on global issues, to foster transdisciplinary research.

In this section:

Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability

In 2022, the Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability, established at the end of 2021, issued an emergency warning on sustainability inaction and the urgent need to mobilize support for mission-oriented science as part of the UN Decade of Action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Composed of political leaders, scientists and influential personalities, the Commission is co-chaired by Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, and Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and previous administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

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Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030

After six years of supporting transdisciplinary research on sustainability across African cities, the research funding programme ‘Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030’ (LIRA) ended in 2022. Launched in 2016, LIRA has been a unique research funding programme that has built the capacity of early-career researchers in Africa to undertake transdisciplinary research and make scientific contributions to the implementation of Agenda 2030 in African cities. By fostering new partnerships across different stakeholder and sectors, 28 LIRA projects have helped anchor the Sustainable Development Goals in local contexts, and have increased local ownership and responsiveness of communities to the global agenda.

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Transformations to Sustainability

After an exciting and productive nine years, the pioneering Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) programme ended in December 2022. The programme was designed to enable social sciences to bring their unique and urgently needed contribution to international sustainability research, with a focus on the human and social dynamics of global change and transformation.

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Public Value of Science

Highlights from two initiatives ‘Unlocking Science’ multimedia hub and ‘Talk Back Better’ webinar series

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Freedom and Responsibility in Science

The Council’s Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science (CFRS) is the custodian of the Principle of Freedom and Responsibility in Science, which is enshrined in Article 7 of the ISC Statutes. The committee works at the intersections between science and human rights to uphold and protect the freedoms that scientists should enjoy, and the responsibilities they carry, while engaging in scientific practice.

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