Plans to establish a Pacific academy of sciences forge ahead

The Pacific scholarly community makes headway with their aspiration to establish a science academy for the Pacific, following the inaugural meeting.

Plans to establish a Pacific academy of sciences forge ahead

The ISC Meeting of Pacific Scholars that took place in October 2023 in Samoa made clear the strong support of regional scholars for a Pacific science academy that could transcend individual institutions, nations, and science disciplines, to represent the Pacific voice of science in a powerful holistic way.

ISC Meeting of Pacific Scholars: It’s time to raise the voice of science

The report outlines key discussion points, decisions and proceedings from the meeting.

DOI: 10.24948/2023.15

As the first crucial step, the Establishment Committee was formed. Representing different subregions of the Pacific and drawing from diverse expertise of established and early and mid-career scholars, it aims to set the foundation of the future academy and mobilize necessary support.

The Committee members volunteering their time to advance the initiative are aware of challenges ahead. The ambition for this massive undertaking is huge, but there is also a shared understanding that the time for action is now, as the onslaught of compounding climate crises and other complex risks continues to threaten the Pacific Island states with alarming urgency.

The hope is that a science academy will support and promote science of and from the Pacific region, make it heard and make it count globally – benefiting both the region and the global science community as a result.

The International Science Council is humbled by the opportunity to accompany the development of the first-ever Academy of Sciences for the Pacific: the region has much to offer and much to share, and it stands to benefit from an organized science effort through increased capacities, a stronger voice of scientists in the region and actionable knowledge co-produced with the Pacific peoples.

Science can only thrive when the community of scientists can organize itself, exchange, debate and – ultimately – speak with one voice. In doing so, the impact of science is stronger – in informing investments in science; in shaping and benefiting from science collaborations with the private sector and other actors; and in supporting education programmes that may need to adapt to reflect interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.”

Salvatore Aricò, ISC CEO


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