Kari Raivio made the vice-chairman of the International Council for Science

Funding and directing it are the biggest challenges of global science policy.


Kari Raivio, Chancellor Emeritus, has been appointed the vice-chairman of the International Council for Science for a three-year term from 2009-2011. Raivio will be responsible for the scientific strategy and evaluation of the Council.

The international and politically independent International Council for Science (ICSU) is the most significant global scientific cooperation and expert organisation. The task of the Council is to plan and coordinate multidisciplinary research on socially significant issues. A 1.2 billion euro research project, the International Polar Year, is currently ongoing.

“At a global level, the biggest challenges faced by science policy are connected to funding and directing it,” says Kari Raivio.

“In practice, only about ten per cent of research and development funding is directed at research dealing with those problems that affect 90 per cent the Earth’s population. One of the ICSU's aims is to mobilise researchers to tackle these issues because individual disciplines cannot answer challenges relating to, for example, climate and the use of energy. The global financial crisis and possible recession will make it even more difficult to find research funding,” predicts Raivio.

The University of Helsinki is already represented at the ICSU. For example, an international programme office belonging to the organisation and led by Professor Markku Kulmala operates at the Department of Physical Sciences.

ICSU is a significant scientific cooperation partner to UN organisations, such as UNESCO, and through its three regional offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America it seeks to promote research and researcher education in developing countries. Kari Raivio was selected for his post at the general meeting of the ICSU in Maputo, Mozambique on 23 October 2008.

Text: Arja-Leena Paavola
Photo: Ida Pimenoff

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

News of the month »»
News archive »»
University of Helsinki