Road to 2018


Developments in global science – The ISSC and International Council for Science (ICSU) are currently pursuing a merger

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. The final vote count in favour of the merger for ICSU was 97.6% and 90% for the ISSC.

This decision follows a year-long process of developing a joint vision and structure for a new, merged organization that can consolidate the strengths of both ISSC and ICSU while blazing a new trail for international science in the 21st century, which was initiated following in-principle agreement to merge the two councils in October 2016.

At the October 2017 meeting,  members of both ISSC and ICSU voted to approve the new organizational strategy and financial proposals as well as to agree on issues of statutes, governance, and voting procedures. The transition will now be implemented and overseen by the ISSC and ICSU Executives, with a founding General Assembly of the new organization planned for July 2018.

A dedicated website has been created to share the latest news and documentation on the merger.

The road to 2018 comprises three phases, each of which culminates in a series of joint meetings of the members of both organizations:

Background to the October 2016 vote

Following an exchange of letters in 2015 between ISSC President Alberto Martinelli and ICSU President Gordon McBean, the ISSC and ICSU agreed to establish a joint Working Group (WG) to explore closer institutional alignment, and possible amalgamation, between the two councils.

Communiqué announcing the Joint Working Group on future ISSC-ICSU relations (released on 15 February 2016)

In April 2016, the Executive bodies of both the ISSC and ICSU accepted the recommendation submitted by the WG after its first meeting in January 2016, and unanimously recommended to all members that ISSC and ICSU merge to form a single new international organization for the social and natural sciences.

Communiqué on future relations between the ISSC and ICSU (released on 5 May 2016)

Related documents:

Letter by ISSC President to members on extending ExCo mandate (released on 5 May 2016)

Letter regarding voting procedure sent by ISSC Executive Director Mathieu Denis to ISSC members on May 18 2016.

A stronger base for the social and natural sciences, and for interdisciplinary collaborations: interview with ISSC President Alberto Martinelli.

Statement on ExCo Mandate Extension Vote – ISSC members vote to extend the current Executive Committee’s mandate (June 14 2016)

October 2016: in-principle vote in favour of the merger, and development of detailed transition plans

Results of voting at the extraordinary ISSC-ICSU General Assembly, October 24 2016

Letter from ISSC and ICSU Presidents on Transition Planning: Update and call for nominations (released on 23 November 2016)

A letter presenting the Transition Planning arrangements decided by delegates at the joint General Assembly of 24 October 2016, and approved by the ISSC and ICSU executive bodies. This includes a call for nominations for the Transition Task Force and Strategy Working Group.

ISSC-ICSU Merger: Transition Planning Process (released on 23 November 2016)

This document accompanies the above letter from the ICSU and ISSC Presidents. It outlines the composition and terms of reference of the Transition Task Force and Strategy Working Group, as well as the overall governance arrangements and related work methods for the transition planning process.

January 2017: Appointment of Strategy Working Group and Transition Task Force (10 January 2016)

Biographies of members of the Strategy Working Group.

Biographies of members of the Transition Task Force.

March 2017: circulation of draft strategy

A draft high-level strategy for a new Council that would result from the possible merger of ICSU and ISSC was circulated to members of both organizations on 31 March 2017.

Download the letter to members from the ISSC and ICSU Presidents and Co-Chairs of the Strategy Working Group (released on 31 March 2017)

Download the draft strategy.

Feedback was received from 27 members in 16 countries. You can access all the feedback on the dedicated website.

July 2017: circulation of revised draft strategy

Following due consideration of members’ feedback and review by the ICSU and ISSC Executives, an updated draft high-level strategy document was circulated to members.

Download the draft strategy (July 2017 version).

October 2017: vote in favour of the merger

In October 2017, members of both councils voted overwhelmingly to merge, launching a process that will see the formation of a single global entity called the International Science Council in 2018.

May 2018: electronic General Assembly

In May 2018 members will be asked to participate in an electronic General Assembly to finalize the merger treaty which contains the new name, Statutes and Rules of Procedure.

July 2018: founding General Assembly of the International Science Council

The first General Assembly of the International Science Council will take place on 3, 4 and 5 July in Paris, France.