Closing remarks by Irina Bokova, ISC Patron, at the Mid-term Meeting of Members

Irina Bokova reviews the critical issues raised at by ISC Members during the recent Paris jamboree.

Closing remarks by Irina Bokova, ISC Patron, at the Mid-term Meeting of Members

Paris, 12 May 2023

The ISC defines science as the systematic organization of knowledge that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. It is inclusive of the natural (including physical, mathematical and life) science and social (including behavioural and economic) science domains, which represent the ISC’s primary focus, as well as the humanities, medical, health, computer and engineering sciences. The ISC recognizes that there is no single word or phrase in English (though there are in other languages) that adequately describes this knowledge community.

The knowledge generated through science can and has provided answers to human needs, spanning from existential quests on humans and nature to combating diseases, improving livelihood systems and achieving stable social organization.

The science enterprise acts as a glue in society because it puts in touch and makes cooperate the knowledge producers with those who apply the findings of science, from policymakers to the private sector.

I know that many critical issues were raised during this conference:

The International Science Council tries to organize all these efforts so that science can be impactful. It is a unique organization and a truly global platform plat-form where science is co-designed and made possible. Naturally, without the efforts of its national and international members, science would not exist; equally, without the ISC its voice could not be so authoritative and load:

The road before the ISC is not without bumps: trust on scientific knowledge has diminished in favor of sometimes unsubstantiated opinions; there is a general sense of confusion about the direction leading to sustainability and security. Humanity is searching a new equilibrium.

In this context, science can act as an equalizer to achieve social justice and peaceful dialogues among countries at such difficult times in history, but also as a leverage for a new humanism, based on science and knowledge. I believe, this is exactly the “moral ground”, that Peter Gluckman emphasized so strongly and convincingly during our meeting.

Thank you.

Irina Bokova is a former Director-General of UNESCO and is ISC Patron and Co-chair of the International Science Council’s Global Commission on Mission Science for Sustainability.


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