Beyond disciplinary boundaries – ISSC in the news


The future of science depends on collapsing the barriers that restrict our ability to respond effectively to today’s global challenges, according to two new articles out this week. These barriers may be disciplinary boundaries, or issues of access to knowledge – and of which knowledge counts – but the so-called ‘wicked’ problems facing societies today demand a new vision for science, in which all disciplines are involved in framing such problems.

Blurring disciplinary boundaries‘, published today in Science and co-authored by ISSC President Alberto Martinelli and International Council for Science (ICSU) President Gordon McBean sets out the need for the new International Science Council to be formed in 2018 through the merger of the ISSC and ICSU. The article issues a challenge to the new organization to serve as a stronger voice for all sciences as a global public good.

A further interview with Alberto Martinelli published in Impact magazine reflects on the role of social sciences, and of epistemic communities like the ISSC, to shape better societies. The post-truth era makes it ‘critical that social scientists defend the values and institutions of free science, evidence-based knowledge, the critical mind and open society’,┬ásays┬áMartinelli.

At the October 2017 joint meeting of ISSC and ICSU Members at the 32nd ICSU General Assembly in Taipei, members of both organizations voted overwhelmingly to merge, launching a process that will see the formation of a single global entity called the International Science Council in mid 2018. Catch up on the background to the merger here.