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Webinar: The Role of Science and Science Funders in the Time of the COVID-19 Crisis

Webinar: The Role of Science and Science Funders in the Time of the COVID-19 Crisis

On 26 June 2020, the International Science Council held a webinar on the role of science and science funders in the time of the COVID-19 crisis, with input from representatives of the European Commission; the International Development Research Centre, Canada; the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the French National Research Agency.

Science has been propelled to the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and will have a critical role in informing global recovery strategies to the 'new normal' in a post-COVID-19 world. New research calls and programmes targeting COVID-19 research have been launched by national research councils, academies, scientific unions, development aid agencies and private foundations around the world. The swift and unprecedented mobilization of research and funding is inspiring. To help stimulate and maximize the impact of this type of action, the International Science Council (ISC) organized a webinar for national research funding agencies, development aid agencies, private foundations, and the international scientific community.

The webinar provided a dialogue space for:

  • Identifying critical COVID-19-related knowledge gaps and fostering potential collaboration and synergies.
  • Understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on science funders.
  • Discussing potential longer-term implications of the pandemic for global science systems, and
  • Exploring ways of enabling science to respond more effectively to future similar threats.

Moderator: Heide Hackmann, CEO, International Science Council

Keynote: Peter Gluckman, President-elect of the International Science Council and Chair of the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA)


  • Dominique Charron, Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, International Development Research Centre, Canada
  • Molapo Qhobela, CEO, National Research Foundation of South Africa
  • Denesha Brar, Communications Lead, the Wellcome Trust
  • Nakita Vodjdani, Responsible for European and International Collaboration, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (French National Research Agency)

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