At an extraordinary General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and General Assembly of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), held in Oslo on 24 October 2016, members voted overwhelmingly that the two organizations should merge. This in-principle decision followed a recommendation by the two organizations’ executives, setting the two councils on a trajectory to become one by October 2018.
For the plans to go ahead, the majority of both councils’ voting members needed to vote in favour. 76% of ICSU members and 87% of ISSC members voted in favour of a merger of the two organizations, thereby setting the merger process in motion.
Gordon McBean, President of ICSU, said: “ICSU has long been a champion for excellence in both disciplinary and transdisciplinary science, and seeks to bring that excellence together to address global challenges. Today’s vote confirms support for this approach and I want to thank our Unions and National Members for their support. As a unified body, we will be in a stronger position to confront the challenges of the twenty-first century. With a broadened membership base the new organization will be the inclusive global voice of science that we want it to be.”
The vote is an in-principle agreement to merge the two councils, and to establish a Transition Task Force to develop detailed transition plans, including legal requirements, new statutes, and governance structures for the merged organization. The Task Force proposal will be put to a vote during a joint meeting of ICSU and ISSC Members in October 2017 at the 32nd ICSU General Assembly in Taipei. If the two organizations’ members endorse these plans in 2017, the transition will be implemented and overseen by the ISSC and ICSU executives, with a founding General Assembly of the new organization tentatively planned for October 2018.
©2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston