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A New Chapter: Mathieu Denis to embark on a new journey with CIFAR

The International Science Council announces the departure of Mathieu Denis, who has played a pivotal role within the organization as the Senior Director and Head of the Centre for Science Futures.

Mathieu Denis will be leaving the ISC in July. His contributions have been instrumental in steering the ISC toward innovative directions, particularly in understanding and shaping the future of global science systems. Under Mathieu’s leadership, the Centre for Science Futures was launched as a think tank committed to providing intellectual resources and evidence-based policy advice aimed at transforming science and research systems globally. This initiative has been at the forefront of discussions on policy for science, significantly impacting the global and regional landscapes, with the recent publication of a report, Preparing National Research Ecosystems for AI: Strategies and progress in 2024, a comprehensive analysis of the integration of artificial intelligence in science and research across various countries.

Recently, the Centre achieved a significant milestone by securing a substantial grant from the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The funding is designated for exploring the impacts of AI on science systems in the Global South, a testament to the Centre’s commitment to addressing critical issues at the intersection of technology and science.

Before taking on his role as Head of the Centre for Science Futures, Mathieu had been appointed Science Director of the Council at its creation in 2018. He served as Acting CEO for the ISC in 2022 and as Executive Director of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) between 2015 and 2018, playing a central role in preparing for the merger with the international Council for Science (ICSU).

Salvatore Aricò, ISC Chief Executive Officer highlighted Mathieu’s significant role in the evolution of the International Science Council (ISC),

“Mathieu has accompanied the International Social Science Council, and finally the International Science Council throughout a long journey. This journey has seen first the strong affirmation of social sciences and the ISSC in the international science landscape, along with the evolution of inter- and transdisciplinary science into a recognized field of work and practice, facilitated by the ISC. Mathieu has been a central actor in this key process related to the evolution of science and of science in society; the ISC owes him much. We wish Mathieu bon vent and much success with his professional and personal future.”

Peter Gluckman, ISC President, said of Mathieu’s new role,

“While we are sad to see Mathieu leave, we are immensely proud of the indelible mark he has left on the ISC and one of its predecessors, the International Social Science Council where he served as its last CEO steering it through the merger with ICSU. Everyone in leadership roles in the global scientific community will join me in thanking him for what he achieved in blending  a deep understanding of the international scientific landscape with the range of challenges that the world faces.”

Mathieu Denis shared his thoughts on his departure:

“It has been an honour to lead the Centre for Science Futures and to contribute to the ISC’s mission of advancing science as a global public good. As I move to join CIFAR, I carry with me the lessons learned and the relationships forged here at the ISC. I am excited about this new opportunity to further influence science and innovation on a global scale.”

Mathieu will be joining the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) as the Executive Director of Research and Partnerships starting this July. His role at CIFAR will involve implementing the Institute’s new strategic plan, where he will continue to influence the global science and research agenda.

As we bid farewell to Mathieu, the ISC looks forward to the continued growth and impact of the Centre for Science Futures, which will be led by ISC Science Director, Vanessa McBride. The centre remains committed to its mission of shaping the future of science, guided by its recent strategic advancements and ongoing projects.

The ISC community extends its heartfelt thanks to Mathieu for his dedication and leadership and wishes him all the best in his new role at CIFAR. Mathieu’s journey reflects a shared commitment to enhancing the role of science in society, and his future endeavours will undoubtedly continue to inspire and impact the global scientific community.

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