ICSU Insight June 2014

Dr. Steven Wilson resigns as ICSU Executive Director

A message from ICSU President Yuan-Tseh Lee

I regret to inform you that our Executive Director, Dr. Steven Wilson, has recently handed in his resignation to take up a new role as CEO of the United Synagogue in the U.K. He will leave us at the end of September, after the General Assembly in Auckland.

This follows the recent departure of Deputy Executive Director Carthage Smith for a new position at the OECD.

It is especially unfortunate for us that these resignations occurred within such a short interval. We will move swiftly to recruit a new Executive Director and also a Head of Science Programmes, who will assume many of the responsibilities of the former Deputy Director position.

I sincerely appreciate having had the opportunity to work with Steven, and am grateful for his leadership which has resulted in excellent progress on Future Earth and ICSU’s other science programmes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for the dedication and hard work that he has demonstrated during his tenure.

On behalf of the Executive Board and membership, I would like to wish him every success in his new position.


Yuan-Tseh Lee

News from ICSU
Steven Wilson

Dr. Steven Wilson resigns as Executive Director

Dr. Steven Wilson, Executive Director of the International Council for Science, has announced that he will step down from his role at ICSU at the end of September 2014 to join the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue movement in Europe, as their CEO, based in London.

On this announcement, he said: “I would like to take the opportunity to warmly thank you for the support, guidance and encouragement you have provided me during my time at ICSU. I will miss my colleagues and friends across the vast ICSU family, but am looking forward to the challenges of my new position, which came at a timely moment for my family as they were ready to move back to the UK.”

Carthage Smith

Carthage Smith resigns as Deputive Executive Director

After more than twelve years at the International Council for Science, Carthage Smith left ICSU in May 2014 to join the OECD Global Science Forum Secretariat.

On leaving ICSU, he said “It has been a privilege working at ICSU over the past 12 years. I have witnessed enormous changes, with new programmes and activities replacing their worthy predecessors. An ongoing challenge has been for ICSU to maintain its core values while staying ahead of the curve, to operate strategically while ensuring ‘bottom up’ support from the scientific community. Initiatives such as the International Polar Year or Future Earth illustrate how this approach makes all the difference. When it works, it seems simple but behind the scenes a huge amount of thought and work goes into getting these initiatives off the ground. I am fortunate to have been part of a really exciting period in ICSU’s development, to have worked with so many great colleagues and scientists from all over the world, and to have been able to contribute in a small way to advancing international science for the benefit of society.”

Auckland Skyline

Registrations for General Assembly close on 18 July

There is a little over a month left to register for the ICSU General Assembly in Auckland, New Zealand later this year. If you haven't done so yet, please do so as soon as possible. For those attending, there is also Facebook event you can join to see who else is attending.

For all information relating to the General Assembly, head to the General Assembly pages on the ICSU website.

ICSU logo

United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

The International Council for Science (ICSU) has been appointed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) as the organising partner of the Science & Technology Major Group for the UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that will take place in Sendai, Japan on 14-18 March 2015. In this capacity ICSU will coordinate the preparation of inputs from scientific and technological communities in the process leading up to the conference and at the conference itself.

As part of preparation for the first Preparatory Committee meeting that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 14-15 July 2014, ICSU has circulated a questionnaire to its Members, Unions, Scientific Associates, regional offices and the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) community.

For further information regarding ICSU’s activities related to disaster risk please visit our website, which includes a statement on establishing an international science advisory mechanism for disaster risk reduction to strengthen resilience.

Group photo of young scientists

2nd young scientists networking conference on the future of the green economy

From May 25-31, 30 excellent young scientists from across the globe met at Villa Vigoni, Italy with an interdisciplinary team of leading senior scientists to advance integrative research and knowledge on societies’ transition towards a green economy.

Read more about this event on the ICSU website.

Franz Gatzweiler

Franz Gatzweiler to be Executive Director of Urban Health programme

Dr Franz Gatzweiler has been appointed Executive Director of the International Programme Office (IPO) of ICSU’s Urban Health programme. He will take up his new role in October 2014 at the IPO, hosted at the Institute of Urban Environment (IUE) in the city of Xiamen in southern China.

Read more about Franz Gatzweiler's appointment.

ICSU logo

ICSU convened meeting between research and international development communities

On 5-6 May 2014, the International Council for Science, in partnership with the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency, convened a meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, to enhance collaboration between the development aid and the global environmental change research (GEC) communities to achieve development goals in Africa. Read more about this event.


ICSU issues joint statement on need for an international science advisory mechanism for disaster risk reduction

ICSU, in collaboration UKCDS*, the Wellcome Trust, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has issued a statement on the need for a science advisory mechanism for disaster risk reduction.

The statement is available for download from the ICSU website.

CFRS workshop in Beijing

Scientists discuss science assessments and research integrity at Beijing workshop

The ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS), together with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), held a workshop this week on the topic of "Science Assessment and Research Integrity", exploring how different methods of research assessment can be used to incentivize integrity in the conduct of science. The workshop had a special focus on the situation in emerging and rapidly developing science systems, such as China, Brazil and South Africa.

Read more about this workshop.

IRDR Glossary

IRDR DATA Project Publishes Peril Classification and Hazard Glossary

The Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme has recently published its Peril Classification and Hazard Glossary, which summarises the agreement on peril classifications and hazard definitions by members of the IRDR Disaster Loss Data (DATA) Project Working Group. More details and download link

News from the regions


Future Earth Regional Workshop for Africa II

A follow-up Future Earth Regional Workshop for Africa is being organized by the ICSU Regional Office for Africa at the University of Pretoria, South Africa from 23 to 24 June, 2014 to bring together participants of the first Regional Future Earth Workshop held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2012, members of the former Future Earth Interim Committee for Africa as well as other regional stakeholders.

Read more

More news from ICSU's Africa Regional Office

Asia Pacific

6th International Conference on Applied Energy

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) Open Science Conference commences in Beijing China.

ICSU ROAP participated in the 6th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE-2014) that was held at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, from 30 May to 2 June 2014. Read more.

MAIRS 2014 Open Science Conference in Beijing

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) Open Science Conference commences in Beijing China.

The Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study (MAIRS) Open Science Conference commenced on Monday 7 April 2014 in Beijing China. It will provide a platform for scientists, stakeholders, policy makers, and the public in general to present state-of-the-art findings and challenges in addressing environmental and climate change in Monsoon Asia. Read more.

More news from ICSU's Asia-Pacific Regional Office

Latin America & the Caribbean

Establishment of ICSU ROLAC Steering Committee on Sustainable Energy

On 1–2 April, the ICSU ROLAC Steering Committee on Sustainable Energy was established. Its mission is to be the scientific advising body for ICSU ROLAC, to propose and promote international co-operative strategic actions on sustainable energy, and to foster initiatives on sustainable energy with global and trans-disciplinary perspectives. The elected members of this Committee are Décio Luiz Gazzoni (chair), Claudio Estrada (vice-chair), Fernando Olsina (secretary), Gabriel Blanco, Anthony Clayton, José María Rincón, John Milhone and Elena Vigil.

Participation of ICSU ROLAC in the fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas

ICSU ROLAC attended the fourth Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas held on May 27-29 in Gayaquil, Ecuador organized by UNISDR. About 600 participants from 30 countries debated in order to produce a draft of the "Communiqué of Guayaquil, Ecuador, Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction" to be presented in Sendai.

There were to main contributions ROLAC made in this meeting. The first one was a commission formed mainly by members from ICSU ROLAC and UNISDR STAG with the aim of producing documents which would be delivered to the UNISDR Secretariat. The outcomes were: 1) Reflections of the representatives of the scientific, technical and academic sector that participated in the meeting, and 2) a short set of statements entitled "The importance of the contribution of the scientific academic community to HFA2". ROLAC also presented the work it has been doing on the Disaster Risk priority area as part of the Panel "The research framework as a contribution to building resilent communities and its importance for decision-makers".

More news from ICSU's Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office

Events Calendar

Trending Now: Water

The Hague, July 14-17

40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly and Associated Events

Moscow, August 2-10

23rd Congress & General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography

Montreal, August 5-12

World Weather Open Science Conference

Montreal, August 16-21

17th IUFoST World Food Congress

Montreal, August 17-21

Science Advice to Governments

Auckland, August 28-20

31st ICSU General Assembly

Auckland, August 30 - September 3

SciDataCon 2014

New Delhi, November 2-5 17-21
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