October 26, 2017
Members of the world’s leading international science bodies, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), agreed in a historic vote to merge and create a unified international organization, the International Science Council. Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director for Programs and Research at the Dickey Center for International Understanding, was part of the four-person U.S. delegation, which included two other members of the U.S. National Academies’ Board on International Scientific Organization (BISO) and the National Academies' Foreign Secretary. Burkins, who is also an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies and teaches a course on “The Practice of Science Policy and Diplomacy," was the only woman in the U.S. delegation.
Ahead of the meeting in Taipei, Burkins played an important role as a member of the ICSU-ISSC Proposed Merger Strategy Working Group, which worked with the ICSU & ISSC leadership to develop the "Draft High-Level Strategy: Advancing Science as a Global Public Good" document.
The agreement took place at a joint meeting in Taipei at which members voted overwhelmingly to form the new organization, which will provide a strong foundation for advancing science across the disciplinary spectrum and in all parts of the world, and promoting its vital role in shaping humanity’s future on planet Earth. The new International Science Council will be launched at a founding General Assembly to be held in Paris, France, in 2018.
For more information, read the ISSC press release.