Public Release: 

World's science advisors to meet in New Zealand in August

The International Council for Science and New Zealand's Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, are jointly convening the first major global summit of leading practitioners of high-level science advice to governments

International Council for Science

There is increasing recognition worldwide of the critical importance of high-level science advisory mechanisms to improving dialogue and collaboration between science, policy- and decision-makers, and society. This summit is an opportunity to explore and share lessons in providing science advice to governments in a variety of challenging policy contexts. These include:

  • Enhancing the use of evidence in policy formation
  • providing science advice in situations of crisis;
  • providing science advice when it is in conflict with political views; and
  • providing multi-national and sub-national science advice.

"Science is not something that can be separated from society," said Sir Peter. It is at the heart of all our major policy challenges today - both as a potential solution and, in some cases, as a cause. As both the science and the policy questions become more complex, there is an increasing need for skilled and trusted brokers of science to policy- and decision-makers. Already the confirmed participant list for this conference speaks of just how serious a matter this is for governments worldwide. We are looking forward to some insightful discussion and debate in Auckland at the end of August." he said.

The conference is also expected to explore the feasibility of establishing a global network of science advisors.

"Nations around the world are facing serious challenges relating to food, water and energy security, health and environmental change, and there are ever increasing demands for sound scientific advice. This meeting brings together those at the centre of providing advice to governments on these critical, global issues to share best practices and learn from each other," said Steven Wilson, Executive Director of ICSU.

The conference organising committee comprises:

Dr. John Boright, Executive Director of International Affairs at US National Academies

Dr. Claus Hviid Christensen, Chair of Danish Council for Research Policy

Sir Peter Gluckman, Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor, New Zealand

Dr. Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission

Dr. Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

Dr. Carlos Nobre, National Secretary, Research and Development, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil; and appointed member of UN Scientific Advisory Board

Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Science Adviser, UK

Dr. James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy, University of Sussex

Dr. Steven Wilson, Executive Director of International Council for Science (ICSU)

Dr. Hamid Zakri, Prime Minister's Science Advisor, Malaysia; founding Chair of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and appointed member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board.

The meeting forms part of a week-long series of events in New Zealand focused on international science. These include a Science and Diplomacy Symposium and the ICSU General Assembly.


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