Taking into account the need for international collaboration in science to address complex and inter-related societal, environmental and economic challenges, the overall objective of the Global Science Forum (GSF) is to support countries to improve their science policies and share in the benefits of international collaboration. GSF provides a venue for consultations and mutual learning among senior science policy officials of OECD member countries. It carries out analytical work on high-priority science policy issues. Specifically, the GSF serves its members in the formulation and implementation of their science policies by:
The GSF's principal customers are the government science policy officials who bring issues to the GSF for deliberation and analysis in an intergovernmental setting. Before any activity is undertaken, it is assessed in terms of quality, potential impact and relevance to the agreed strategic themes. All projects must have the support of several GSF members.
GLOBAL SCIENCE FORUM PROJECTS (2020-2022)
The GSF programme of work for 2021-2022 builds on what has been achieved over previous years and responds to the specific challenges for many areas of science policy that have been raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobilising science in response to crises: Lessons learned from COVID-19
Science is at the forefront of the response to COVID-19, with public research underpinning our understanding of the pandemic, the development of vaccines and therapies and informing policy interventions. The project explores how the scientific community has responded to the pandemic, what have been the challenges for an effective response and what policy measures have been most useful in facilitating such as reponse, with a view to being better prepared for future crises.
The main activities include a series of workshops that bring together international experts and representatives of relevant stakeholder communities. An important aspect of the workshops is mutual learning across countries.
Research Infrastructure Policy
The issue of Research Infrastructures (RIs) has taken a growing importance over the years. This is due, among other factors, to the increasing number and diversity of RIs, which now play a key role in all scientific disciplines. They include not just single-site facilities but also a variety of distributed infrastructures, and operate under very different models of governance and financing. These RIs now represent a substantial amount of the total public investment in research.
The Global Science Forum (GSF) has carried out extensive work on RIs over the years. Indeed, facilitating co-operation on large-scale RIs was the original purpose for the creation of the Megascience Forum, the precursor of the GSF. A broad range of GSF reports on RI policy has been published over the years and new activities on this topic are still ongoing. The current GSF activity on RI policy revisits the challenges faced by Very Large Research Infrastructures (VLRIs). VLRIs are major long term investments that serve the international research community and play a critical role in many scientific domains, from particle physics to ecology, and present unique challenges in terms of governance, sustainability and management. This project looks at how these challenges are being addressed throughout the lifecycle of such facilities and how policies might need to be adapated to deliver both scientific and socio-economic goals. This activitiy includes a series of two workshops that bring together international experts and representatives of relevant stakeholder communities.
Integrity and security in the global research ecosystem
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of international scientific collaboration as well as the challenges that can arise when countries have divergent, economic, security and political interests. This project explored policy initiatives and actions to safeguard national and economic security whilst protecting freedom of enquiry, promoting international research cooperation, and ensuring openness and non-discrimination. It brings together examples, from different countries and actors, of actions that are being taken to prevent foreign interference, manage risks, and help ensure trust in science. It includes recommendations to help countries strengthen research security as part of a broader framework of research integrity. The GSF STI policy report on Integrity and Security in the Global Research Ecosystem was published on 28 June 2022 and can be downloaded here. Good practice examples/policy initiatives collected during the project can be accessed via the OECD-STIP Compass database.
Research workforce of the future
As an extension of the work on precarity in research careers, this project will explore what policy actions can be taken at the PhD training and postdoctoral level to improve the career prospects and options for the next generation of researchers, many of whom have had their work severely disrupted by the pandemic.