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Second ISC General Assembly will bring together more than 700 participants over five days to discuss crucial issues for international scientific collaboration

There's still time to register to join special open events.

The Second International Science Council General Assembly, which begins today, will bring together over 300 people representing ISC Members, as well as some 400 guests registered for the special open sessions of the meeting, which take place on Wednesday 13 October.

If you have already registered for the General Assembly, you should have received an email containing a registration link to access the virtual conference platform. Please ensure you check your “spam” and “other” folders for an email sent by with your unique login details for the General Assembly. If you have not received this email, please contact, preferably quoting your registration number. We’re looking forward to engaging with our Members in the coming week.

The International Science Council (ISC) is a non-governmental organization with a global membership of over 200 international scientific Unions and Associations, and regional and national science organizations, including Academies and Research Councils. The Council works at the global level to catalyse and convene scientific expertise, advice and influence on issues of concern to science and society. The General Assembly of the Council’s Members meets every three years, and is the Council’s main governance body.

The General Assembly, which takes place this week, is the second ever such meeting since the Council’s founding General Assembly held in 2018, when the Council was launched following the merger of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the 2021 meeting is being held virtually, via dedicated online platform that brings together video conferencing, online networking and a virtual exhibition featuring content from the ISC’s Affiliated Bodies.

On Wednesday 13 October, three special events are open to all, and you can register here:

COVID-19 scenarios outcomes

11:00 – 12:00 UTC

As part of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, join the ISC and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to discuss the importance of systems thinking and global cooperation to improve long-term outcomes of global emergencies.

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The International Science Council will present the high-level outcomes of the COVID-19 Outcomes Scenarios Exercise that is being conducted in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the World Health Organization after eight months of research and analysis before an official launch on 18th November 2021.

The project was initiated because there was concern that the international community had been operating in crisis mode throughout the pandemic.  This has resulted in uneven responses to the pandemic across the globe, insufficient global solidarity, and too often, narrow and short-term pandemic and post-pandemic planning, resulting in unequal impacts, with many countries experiencing a fourth wave of the pandemic and others with little access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines.

The goal of this exercise was to map out the critical factors and uncertainties that will shape the evolution and global outcomes of this pandemic and outline plausible mid-to-long-term global scenarios.

Agenda (all times refer to UTC):

  • 11:00 – Video introduction from UNDRR
  • 11:02 – Overview of the project by Peter Gluckman
  • 11:17 – Panel discussion on key outcomes – with Ines Hassan, David Kaplan, Elizabeth Jelin and Anjana Singh.
  • 11:45 – Q&A
  • 11:55 – Wrap-up


Unlocking Science: Should we do better on public engagement?

12:00 – 13:10 UTC

Don’t miss the panel discussion on public perceptions of science with ISC Patrons Mary Robinson, Ismail Serageldin and Vint Cerf.

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Levels of public trust in science remain relatively high. But the political and media environment is increasingly fragmented and polarized, this has been highlighted with the diverse responses of governments and populations to the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend is exacerbated by pervasive digital technologies and social media, which enable the widespread dissemination of misleading and biased information.

To address these concerns we need to understand the extent of the problem we are facing and challenge ourselves about how we understand and measure the public’s perceptions of science.

This session will explore these issues, seeking to clarify what the ISC and its membership can or should be doing.


Awards Ceremony

13:15 – 14:00 UTC

Witness the very first edition of the ISC Awards where we will honour outstanding individuals and groups in 10 award categories.

Simultaneous interpretation from English to both French and Spanish will be available.  

On Monday 11 October, the General Assembly begins with a Members’ Forum, before business meetings begin on Tuesday 11 October with an overview of activities and achievements over the past three years. On Thursday 14 October the Council’s Members will elect its next Governing Board.

Over the course of the week, Members will discuss ongoing activities and operations, and will have the chance to take part in virtual networking. On Friday 15 October outgoing ISC President Daya Reddy will address the General Assembly before handing over to incoming President Peter Gluckman.

Keep an eye on this website for the latest announcements and follow the discussions from the General Assembly on Twitter with #ISC2021.

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