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Merger of ICSU and ISSC taking shape

icsu merger3

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) have committed to merge into a new organisation that ‘articulates the voice of science clearly, carefully and responsibly in relation to a wide range of contemporary issues’.  

The vision for the new science council is to look both towards society and towards the scientific community. It endeavours to increase both political awareness of scientific findings and research challenges, and scientist’s awareness of political priorities and societal challenges.

ICSU and ISSC a currently working towards building the institutional structure and legitimacy needed to achieve such ambitious aims. This has particularly involved the development of a high-level, generic strategy for the new organisation and of a detailed plan for practically implementing the merger. Both processes have equally included representatives of ICSU and ISSC, and they provided space for feedback from the global research community. 

While the members of both a Transitional Task Force and a Strategy Working Group have been appointed, the development of a high level strategy has already advanced considerably, with the transition implementation plan following suit. A draft strategy plan was circulated to the members of ICSU and ISSC in March 2017, whose feedback was sought through an online survey and webinar. After reviewing this feedback, the Strategy Working Group will submit a final draft to the executive bodies of ICSU and ISSC in June 2017 and, with the approval of these bodies, to the member organisations in July 2017. During the same summer months, the Transitional Task Force will submit its recommendations to ICSU and ISSC executive bodies and their members too.

The planning phase of the merger will come to an end in October 2017 when the 32nd ICSU General Assembly will be held jointly with an extraordinary General Assembly of ISSC. By deciding on the proposals of the Strategy Working Group and the Transitional Task Force, this assembly will also initiate the implementation face of the merger, which will conclude with a founding General Assembly of the new organisation in October 2018.

The DFG is a member of ICSU and ISSC representing all scientists in Germany. The DFG supports ICSU's and ISSC's work through annual contributions to enable German scientists to participate in its programmes.



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