Inclusive Co-operation: The International Science Council, Inter-union Co-operation and “vision through a Gender Lens”

Inclusive co-operation: The International Science Council, Inter-union Co-operation and “vision through a Gender Lens”

31st July 09:45-11:15 (open to all)

Co-chairs : Lucilla Spini (International Science Council) and John Buckeridge (President IUBS 2007-2009; ICSU Executive Board Member 2014-2018)


This session provides an overview of how the new International Science Council (ISC) functions and how this impacts scientific unions. The ISC was established through the merger of the ICSU and ISSC, enabling a new council, encompassing both the natural and social sciences, to better address global challenges and thus become the global voice for science. The significance of this, and the opportunities it offers, will be discussed within the context of members’ activities and co-operation frameworks, along with information on global frameworks (e.g. Agenda 2030, and SAMOA Pathway).

In this context, examples of inter-union and intra-membership co-operation and joint initiatives will be presented. Among such initiatives we will recall International Years and Decades (including current proposals as well as those approved by UNESCO and/or UN, noting that 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements). The session will also give particular attention to joint projects amongst ISC members and bodies ensuing by the ISC (former ICSU) Grants Programmes (e.g., TROP-ICSU and Gender Gap in Science Projects). In particular, the session will focus on the Trans-disciplinary Research Oriented Pedagogy for Improving Climate Studies and Understanding (TROP-ICSU) – a global initiative, funded by the International Science Council, led by IUBS and the International Union For Quaternary Research (INQUA) – as well as on successful cross-disciplinary interaction with the International Union of Soil Science.

Effective co-operation and joint initiatives require an inclusive perspective, incorporating all the talents in the communities. Thus this session will reflect on how we can reduce the gender gaps in biological sciences and communities (e.g. gender gaps in academic leadership, gender gaps in career progressions, and gender gaps in IUBS governance). Challenges and opportunities will be assessed, taking into account current studies and initiatives (e.g., GenderInSITE).

The following Plenary Session 11:35-12:30 will provide participants with an opportunity to conceive, promote and table resolutions to address issues arising from this session.


09:45-09:51: Introducing the Session (Lucilla Spini & John Buckeridge)

09:53-10:00: Lucilla Spini (ISC): The International Science Council: ongoing initiatives and new opportunities also within global frameworks (e.g., Agenda 2030 and its SDG no. 5, SIDS/SAMOA Pathway, UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development)

10:04-10:11: L. S. (Shashi) Shashidhara (TROP-ICSU, Secretary General, IUBS, India): An overview of activities and outreach in environmental education: the TROP-ICSU Project.

10:14-10:21: Lily Rodriguez (President Designate, International Union of Pure & Applied Physics (IUPAP), France). A proposal: International Year of Basic Sciences for Development

10:25-10:32: Ratan Lal (International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), United States of America): Inter-union collaboration: How this magnifies the impact of good science.

10:36-10:43: John Buckeridge (Past President, IUBS, Australia): Applying a Gender-lens to the Biological Sciences: closing the gender-gap within Biological Sciences communities.

10:47-10:54: Annelies Pierott-Bults (Past Treasurer, IUBS, The Netherlands): Personal Reflections Part 1: Addressing and diminishing the Gender Gap.

10:58-11:05: Marvalee Wake (Past President, IUBS, United States of America): Personal Reflections Part 2: Addressing and diminishing the Gender Gap.

11:09-11:15: Closing Comments. Is there a need to propose resolution(s) for the next session?