Gathering of government science advisors in Auckland (NZ) calls for greater openness of scientific communities to interaction with policy-making

Convened by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and hosted by New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, this first global conference on science advice to governments brought together some 200 participants including science advisors, senior officials, representatives of national academies, experts and scholars from more than 40 countries across Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the United States, Canada and Latin America.



“Our goal was to start a global conversation on the practices and challenges of conveying science advice to governments,” said Sir Peter Gluckman. “As brokers of knowledge, science advice practitioners aim to communicate what is known and what is not known in such a way as to assist decision makers in balancing evidence, social values and other imperatives in the policy process. This is no small task, particularly in contentious areas of policy, where public concern is high and the science is inevitably uncertain.”

This trend is visible also in the domain of DRR, as IRDR’s Executive Director R. Klein had observed when leading the delegation of the Science and Technology Major Group at the UN negotiations for HFA2 in Geneva: the demand side for scientific evidence and technological solutions is growing rapidly with the vast majority of UN Member States presenting plenary statements calling for S&T to play a stronger role in tackling disaster risks and strengthening resilient communities. In discussions he suggested to establish a policy group, composed of expert representatives of S&T organisations, to better respond to DRR policy needs. Speaking at the science advisors’, Romain Murenzi, the executive director of The World Academy of Science TWAS, emphasised the importance of capacity building and strengthening collaboration among science advisory structures worldwide.

ICSU and the OECD Global Science Forum are now working with organisers to take the initiative forward. Workshops on specific issues will be held over the next two years and a 2nd Global Conference on Science Advice to Governments will be held in Europe in 2016.

Full details of the meeting proceedings are available here: