Daya Reddy, who served the ISC as its first ever President, completed his term as President at the October 2021 General Assembly. He shares his reflections on the role, and how the Council developed over its first three years of operation.

Reflections from Daya Reddy, inaugural President

’Serving the ISC in its inaugural three-year period has been a distinct and unique privilege. From the outset, we seized this idea of a new merged organization that would be more than the sum of the old – with its own vision of science as a global public good, and eventually an action plan that gave concrete effect to this vision. It has been a stimulating journey on which I have learnt so much about our Unions, Academies, Associations and Councils. I am grateful for your support, ideas, your commitment to the ISC, the frequent opportunities to be involved in your activities, and the opportunity to serve and work with you. I acknowledge the unstinting support of Governing Board members in our various endeavours. It is a pleasure also to acknowledge with thanks the support, and commitment and dedication to the ISC of the members of the Secretariat under the leadership of CEO Heide Hackmann.  

As we proceed into the period of the second Board, the societal challenges that the first Governing Board confronted remain, in large part, but there is a sense of increased urgency: we are three years closer to the target date for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and there is growing alarm about lack of progress towards staying below the 1.5°C temperature increase. We witness an amplification of the threats to science posed by misinformation and scientific nationalism, which seek to undermine the core values of science. And, of course, we have had the significant wake-up call of COVID-19. We have also woken up to the need for self-examination, and of identifying and responding to discriminatory practices. The ISC has achieved a great deal over the past three years, is in good shape, and well placed to respond with vigour in addressing these and new challenges’. 

Daya Reddy, inaugural President of the ISC from 2018-2021  

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