Road to 2018


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

At the October 2016 General Assembly of the ISSC, and extraordinary General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU), members of both organizations voted overwhelmingly that the two organizations should merge.

Following the in-principle agreement to merge the two councils, the ISSC and ICSU have begun the 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.

Proposals for detailed transition plans and for a high-level strategy for the new organization will be developed throughout 2017, and will be put to a vote during a joint meeting of ICSU and ISSC Members in October 2017 at the 32nd ICSU General Assembly in Taipei.

If the two organizations’ members endorse these plans in 2017, the transition will be implemented and overseen by the ISSC and ICSU Executives, with a founding General Assembly of the new organization tentatively planned for October 2018.

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

The latest documentation relating to the Transition Planning Process can be found on the dedicated site.

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).