If COVID-19 is the 9/11 moment for global science advice, what needs to happen next?

Thursday 2 December 2021
08:00 – 09:30 UTC

Join new ISC President, Peter Gluckman, and a global panel of experts, as they unpick policymaking in the context of science and politics, and a third force – grass-roots citizens.

For those who believe wholeheartedly in evidence and the integrity of science, the past two-years have been challenging. Information, correct and incorrect, can spread like a virus. We are certainly at a turning point, not just in this pandemic, but in our collective management of longer-term challenges affecting us all.

Moderated by the Academy of Science of South Africa, as part of Science Forum South Africa, this high-level panel brings together politicians, chief science advisors, presidents of science advisory bodies and science diplomats from five continents to examine how scientific advice feeds into effective policymaking – or not.

Their premise is that if the 9/11 attacks changed all our lives from the perspective of state security, then COVID-19 must leave a similar legacy for the future of globally robust policymaking as a shared public good. Or must we be prepared to accept the dumbing-down of ‘evidence’ and a ‘snapback to normal’ in our post-pandemic politics?


Himla Soodyall (South Africa), CEO, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)


  • Rémi Quirion (Canada), Chief Scientist of Québec & President, International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)
  • Ene Ergma (Estonia), Astronomist & former Politician & Speaker of the Estonian Parliament
  • Peter Gluckman (New Zealand), President, International Science Council & former Chief Science Adviser to the government of New Zealand
  • Michinari Hamaguchi (Japan), President of the Japanese Science & Technology Agency (JST)
  • Eudy Mabuza (South Africa), Science Counsellor to the European Union & former Head of Cabinet, Minister for Higher Education, Science & Technology: eudy.mabuza@dst.gov.za


  • Aidan Gilligan (Ireland), CEO, SciCom – Making Sense of Science
  • Professor Rémi Quirion



Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash


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