The ISC took part in the Forum preparations, as partner organization, with ISC President Peter Gluckman serving in the conference steering committee and intervening in the opening ceremony. An ISC delegation including Board and staff members, was also present in Cape Town, with the ISC exhibition space proving popular with delegates. In total, more than 40 African and international ISC Members attended the World Science Forum.
For its part, the ISC-led side-event, the inaugural meeting of the GKD series, gathered more than 120 Member representatives from 40 countries, including members from the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), the Global Young Academy, Future Earth, and international representation from Australia, Malaysia, Japan, Turkey, Iran and the United Kingdom. Regional chapter members from INGSA also attended the event. Salim Abdool Karim, ISC Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement, opened proceedings, welcoming ISC Members and challenging the assembly to think about the myriad of unfolding crises that are converging on our planet.
‘Science needs a strong voice, science needs a courageous voice, and science needs a voice that speaks to all of these challenges with integrity.’Salim Abdool Karim, ISC Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement
Delegates heard from ISC Fellows and thought leaders including Lidia Brito, Connie Nshemereirwe, Carlos Lopes, Christian Acemah, Oladoyin Obubano and Michael Atchia, and participated in a broad dialogue to determine the top eight issues for science in Africa: governance and representative bodies, capacity strengthening, funding, African knowledge systems, African identity, education, social systems and gender equality.
The day also featured ‘ignite talks’ by four ISC Members who shared how they overcame barriers in science to create ‘knowledge societies’. Palesa Sekhejane, Olubokola Babalola, Josephine Ngaira, and Kevin Govender provided personal perspectives on their work, celebrating resilience and innovation in science.
At the end of the Dialogue, an agreement was signed between the ISC and Future Africa, with the aim of supporting African agendas and capacities and strengthening the presence of African science on the global stage.
The productive day concluded on a 150 guests dinner, gathered to celebrate the day and honour ISC’s founding President, Daya Reddy, and first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Heide Hackmann.