Following an open call for expressions of interest to host an International Science Council (ISC) regional presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, the ISC is delighted to announce that the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences will host a Regional Focal Point for Latin America and the Caribbean (RFP-LAC), during the 2022 – 2024 term.
The ISC works to advance science as a global public good, and to address issues that are of major importance to global science and to society. To have maximum impact, the ISC’s global strategy and associated Action Plans must have strong resonance in all regions of the world.
The Regional Focal Point will operate under the advice and guidance of a Liaison Committee, which is chaired by Enrique Forero, President of the Colombian Academy. The work will be supported by Carolina Santacruz-Pérez, ISC Science Officer based at the Colombian Academy. An open call for nominations for candidates serving on the RFP-LAC Liaison Committee will be published shortly.
The Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences is extremely honored to have been chosen to become the Regional Focal Point for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Science Council. We are committed to contribute to the ISC’s vision of science as a global public good, and to implement the ISC 2022 – 2024 Action Plan Science and Society in Transition, with its five priority domains. This will be done at the regional level but within the framework and context of a globally distributed and disciplinary diverse membership. Since the RFP-LAC is the first of several regional presences to be established by the ISC, we hope to be a source of inspiration to the other regional presences and we look forward to working very closely with the Governing Board as well as with ISC Members and other stakeholders in the region.Enrique Forero, ISC RFP-LAC Chair and President of the Colombian Academy
Carolina Santacruz-Pérez, ISC RFP-LAC Science Officer
The essential roles and responsibilities of the team include mobilizing active and continuous regional engagement of ISC Members in the LAC region in the ISC’s global strategy development and action planning processes as well as their participation in ISC global activities, programmes and affiliated bodies. In addition, the RFP-LAC will work towards widening the ISC community by assisting the ISC to increase its membership base in the region and ensuring strong representation and participation of regional scientists and/or scientific institutions in ISC activities, including increasing the ISC’s network of partners in the region. The RFP-LAC will also assist with amplifying the ISC’s representation, communications and outreach at the regional level by promoting the outcomes of the ISC’s global activities amongst regional scientific and stakeholder communities.
With the formation of the ISC in July 2018, the three former regional offices of the International Council for Science (ICSU) in (1) Africa, (2) Asia and the Pacific and (3) Latin America and the Caribbean automatically became regional offices of the ISC, and the self-organized European group of ICSU Members expanded its membership to include all European Members of the ISC.
Following a unilateral decision of the government of El Salvador, the regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean closed in December 2019. Similarly, the hosting arrangements provided by the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the Academy of Sciences of South Africa for the regional office in Africa, and by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia for the regional office in the Asia-Pacific region were concluded in 2021. The ISC Governing Board and headquarters as well as the entire ISC community is extremely thankful for the support provided by the respective Members and organizations to maintain the regional offices over the years, and we thank the regional office staff for their valuable work and crucial commitment to advancing science as a global public good in the respective regions.
During its first three years of operation (2019 – 2021), the ISC Governing Board worked towards the development of concrete plans aimed at operationalizing the ISC’s ambitious new vision and mission, including related actions for securing a strengthened regional presence, building on the valuable experiences and support networks of the former regional offices.
Towards a new ISC regional presence
The vision for a continued regional presence for the ISC is one of a single, global ISC Secretariat, with Headquarters (HQ) in Paris and regional structures located in different parts of the world that are directly accountable to HQ. Hosting organizations of regional structures harness opportunities associated with direct institutional engagement in the ISC’s continued development, including exposure to its wider networks of influence in the global science and policy landscape.
Regional structures serve to increase the ISC’s global reach and its global relevance. They ensure that regional needs and priorities are adequately represented in the ISC’s global agenda, that regional voices are actively engaged in the governance and management of the ISC’s work, and that regions benefit from the results of that work; they support and promote the effective integration of regional and global communities and capacities that comprise the ISC community.