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Welcome to the November 2015 edition of the ICSU newsletter, bringing you highlights from ICSU's activities since our last edition in September. Note that we've started including media mentions in the newsletter, so you can keep up to date with what others are writing about us.

What's in this e-mail?
  1. The latest news from the International Council for Science
  2. The latest stories from Road to Paris, ICSU's blog on climate change, sustainable development & disaster risk reduction
  3. ICSU in the Media
  4. Jobs at ICSU and in the network
  5. News from ICSU's Regional Offices
  6. Upcoming events


With just days to go before the start of the UN climate change negotiations in Paris, ICSU has released two new publications on climate change. The first is a history of ICSU's involvement in climate change research, detailing it's 60-year long engagement in the subject and the central role it has played in providing the science base for international assessments such as the IPCC. The second publication is a magazine compiling the most popular stories run on ICSU's Road to Paris blog.

During the climate talks, ICSU will be represented with a booth in the accredited area of the conference. We hope to provide a lively focal point for the scientific community attending COP21 via a number of services, such as regular briefings on the negotiations from members of our community and providing daily highlights about relevant side events and off-site events via email. If you are attending, join this activity by filling in a quick survey about your participation. We've also created a list of science-related events at and around the climate talks, which we will continue to update.

December will also see the first meeting of Science International, a series of annual events that are designed to represent the global scientific community in the international policy for science arena. One of the outcomes of the meeting will be an international accord on "Open Data in a Big Data World". The meeting will bring together the leadership of ICSU, ISSC, IAP and TWAS from 7-9 December.

Finally, at the end of the year, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), will shut down after 30 years of pioneering global change research. The legacy of the ICSU-sponsored programme will be celebrated by a series of events at the AGU Fall Meeting, where IGBP is also co-sponsoring more than 100 sessions. At the meeting, ICSU President Gordon McBean will also receive the AGU's Ambassador Award.

There are several calls open from ICSU to its members. ICSU is seeking a new host for its Regional Office for Latin America and the Carribean, this call is open until 15 December 2015. We are also currently seeking nominations for the Scientific Committee for Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment: a Systems Analysis Approach, and nominations for this are open until 31 December 2015. ICSU is also calling on its members to support the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science by hosting its Executive Secretariat. Expressions of interest should be submitted by 29 January 2016.

A quick message on the ICSU Grants programme: This year, the ICSU Grants Programme has been undergoing restructuring, in response to the ICSU external review and to make it more beneficial to our members. Currently, we are looking to launch a new and improved Grants Programme early in 2016. At this point in time we cannot give any specific details on what the specifications of the new call for proposals will contain, but members are encouraged to get in contact for any general queries.

The UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs has published a call for scientific contributions to the UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2016. Briefs should address an issue, finding, or research with a bearing on sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social, and environmental – or the inter-linkages between them. The deadline is 18 January 2016.

More news in brief:

Road to Paris

Three of our favourite stories from ICSU's Road to Paris blog covering disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change:
What’s Loss and Damage: Negotiating tool or moral compass? Lou Del Bello on an issue that will probably be hotly debated during this year's climate talks.
Oceans and the UN talks: are we in danger of missing the “blue lung” of the planet? Alice Bell on why the crucial role of the oceans for the climate has often been neglected at the UN.
5 ways to litigate on climate change. Claudia Delpero on why action on climate change could be moving to the courtroom.

ICSU in the Media

Jobs at ICSU and in the network

  • Communications Officer, ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Carribean. Mexico City, Mexico. Deadline: 6 December 2015.
  • Communications Associate, Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Paris, France. Deadline: 11 December 2015.
  • Operations Director, International Council for Science (ICSU). Paris, France. Deadline: 3 January 2016
  • Executive Director, START. Washington, DC, USA. Deadline: 8 January 2015.

News from ICSU's Regional Offices


Asia & Pacific

The 4th International Workshop on Psychological Intervention After Disasters (PIAD 2015) was held at the International Centre of Excellence on Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR-ICoE), Taipei from 9-12 November 2015. The workshop is an annual activity spearheaded by the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS) with support from ICSU and its partners since 2012. This year, a total of 25 participants from eight Asian countries attended the workshop. Faculty for the workshop consisted of scholars from Australia, China, New Zealand, Taiwan and USA who are leaders in their fields of research. Core funding for the workshop was provided by IRDR-ICoE-Taipei with additional support from the Jacobs Foundation and the Chinese Society for Psychological Science. Organization of the workshop was undertaken primarily by the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) and IRDR-ICoE. Other partners included the Center for Applied Developmental Science of the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, and the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH).

More news from ICSU's Regional Office for Asia & the Pacific

Latin America and the Caribbean

The ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) supported the 2015 Ministerial Summit and GEO-XII Plenary GEO XII Side Event: “Data Sharing Principles, Requirements and Implementation in LMIC”, held at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9-10 November 2015.  ICSU ROLAC organized two contributions: 1) “Estimates and some predictions on the outbreak of influenza in Mexico City in 2009", by Dr. Gustavo Cruz Pacheco, from the Institute of Research in Applied Mathematics and Systems of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and 2) “Open data in Latin America: regional perspectives on principles, implementation and requirements", presented by Prof. Manuel Limonta, Director of ICSU ROLAC.

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


Future ESSES Conference and GEO-Unions Meeting

The ICSU ROA Director was invited to share a regional perspective on (Geo) science education at the Future of Earth-Space Science and Education (Future ESSE) held at the ICTP, Trieste on 2 – 6 November 2015. The conference had a number of early career scientists from developing countries, sponsored by the ICTP. It was followed by the meeting of Geo-Unions and Associations, who have organised themselves to work together on issues of common interest in the development of their disciplines. Some of the issues discussed include their interactions with ICSU and its Regional Offices, Geo-Unions and ICSU Regional Offices, their contributions to Future Earth and disaster risk, the International Year of Global Understanding (2016), and the International Map Year. The discussion also dealt with collaboration around a project for which the next ICSU grant would be sought. This would need strong support from the Regional Offices. 

African Forum for Health Research (AF4HR) – an outreach activity with the South African Department of Health and WHO Afro

The Office, through the Director’s membership of the National Health Research Committee for South Africa, has been listed as a key player for the African Forum for Health Research, which will be held every two years hosted on a rotational basis by different African countries. The Director will also participate in the Local Organising Committee for the planning meeting that will be hosted in early 2016 to set up a mechanism for the AF4HR series. This will involve representatives of all African Health authorities that are members of WHO Afro.

More news from ICSU's Regional Office for Africa


21st Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC. Paris, France, 30 November-11 December 2015.
The Anthronaut Experience – COP21 Virtual Reality Hackathon. Paris, France, 4-5 December 2015.
Science International. Pretoria, South Africa, 7-9 December 2015.
IGBP co-sponsored sessions at the AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, USA, 14-18 December 2015.
UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Geneva, Switzerland, 27-29 January 2016.
Global Climate Observation - the Road to the Future. Amsterdam, 2-4 March 2016.

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