» International Council for Science and UNESCO to collaborate on science advice
30.09.2016 - Natural Sciences Sector

International Council for Science and UNESCO to collaborate on science advice

© INGSA Flavia Schlegel, Heide Hackmann and Peter Gluckman seal the agreement in Brussels, 28 September 2016.

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and UNESCO have today formalised a partnership on one of the fastest growing areas of public science endeavor – the provision of science advice for public policy.

In a ceremony at the residence of the New Zealand Ambassador to the European Union, Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences and Heide Hackmann, Executive Director of ICSU, signed an agreement committing the two agencies to:

  • Assist countries with the development and/or strengthening of advisory systems, particularly in the developing world;
  • Enable improved dialogue between scientific and policy communities, with linkages between research programmes and policy needs;
  • Provide a forum for policy makers, practitioners, national academies and academics to develop and enhance approaches to the use of scientific evidence in informing policy at all levels of government;

This collaboration will be operationalized through the International Network of Global Science Advice (INGSA), which operates under the auspices of ICSU.  The founding Chair of INGSA is Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

This agreement represents a major step forward to INGSA,” said Gluckman.  “What started at the 2014 ICSU global conference in Auckland as a spontaneous response to an identified gap at the interface of science and public policy, has gained significant momentum in the past two years.  The endorsement of INGSA activities by two these two pre-eminent global science bodies is important recognition and support for our work,” he said.

Dr Heide Heckmann acknowledges the significance of that work.  “INGSA provides a much needed collaborative platform that brings together established and emerging science and policy communities, while helping to build capacities on both sides to work together in a more meaningfully way.”

It is expected that UNESCO will help to extend the reach of INGSA’s activities.  It will connect these to broader audiences and expertise, building on INGSA’s growing diversity of membership. “We are delighted to be part of this innovative new collaboration to promote the use of science-based evidence in public policy making globally,” said Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences.

More information about INGSA and practical information about science advice to governments can be found at www.ingsa.org.  For more information about the agreement, please contact the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building.




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