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.
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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.
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, for 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.
Integrity and security in the global research ecosystem
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the critical importance and the challenges in international scientific collaboration, when countries have divergent, economic, security and political interests. This project looks at how potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment can be managed in international collaboration and exchange in order to strengthen the global reserch ecosystem.
Research workforce of the future
As an extension of the work on Precarity in Research Careers (see below), 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.
Policies to foster transformative/high-risk research
There is growing concern that public research is too conservative, short-term and risk-averse. Whilst funding, and how it is allocated, is a major driver for research, issues such as academic structures, research evaluation and strategic prioritisation processes also have an impact on what research is, and is not, conducted. This GSF project is focusing on funding and policy actions aimed at fostering transformative/high-risk research.
In many countries, the working conditions of researchers are not considered sufficiently attractive to retain the best national talent and attract good foreign researchers. The objective of this GSF project is to identify policies and procedures that could promote better strategic planning and management of research careers in the public sector, promoting inclusion and diversity, while increasing the quality of the science that is produced.