Vol. 22, No. 5
Provide Science Advice to World Leaders
Eleven World Academies met in Davos, Switzerland in February 2000
a meeting convened to coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF),
which brings together top politicians, economists, business leaders,
and opinion formers for an annual meeting to discuss global economic
The Academies discussed setting up a new organization to provide science
advice to world leaders and to major intergovernmental agencies. The
provisional title of the body is the InterAcademy Council (IAC). The
Academies also took the opportunity to discuss with WEF participants
key scientific issues likely to affect the world over the next decade,
such as energy needs, information technology, ecosystems, disease, natural
disasters, and sciences contribution to rational decision making.
Those meeting agreed to pursue the idea of an InterAcademy Council,
and four "wise men" were charged with preparing a draft constitution
for the new Council. This document was discussed at the beginning of
the "sustainability" meeting of national academies in Tokyo
in May 2000.
The Tokyo conferences primary purpose was to discuss global sustainability
and to produce a statement agreed upon by over 50 academies on "transition
to sustainability". It also provided an opportunity for the larger
InterAcademy Panel (IAP) to discuss its own future. The Royal Society
is expecting to continue to play a leading role in international science
policy and remains actively involved in the discussions about the new
Council and about the future direction of IAP.
article originally appeared in the March 2000 issue of The Royal Society
News, published by the Press and Public Relations Unit of the Royal
Society (6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG, England, UK), to
whom we extend thanks for their permission to reproduce it in full.