Over the past 50 years, the organisation of science has been completely transformed by globalisation and digitisation. This is particularly relevant to those seeking to solve the pressing human and environmental challenges of our time. It is increasingly recognised that these complex global challenges can only be addressed through meaningful international collaboration and ‘integrated science’ which brings together scientists from different disciplines to co-construct knowledge. This is reflected in the growing influence of international scientific infrastructure, such as the relevant bodies of the EU and UN and in the high-profile merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). At the national level, the seven UK Research Councils have merged into one agency, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
This report draws attention to the importance of gender equality in scientific leadership. Ultimately, this has implications beyond science participation itself, to affect the very ways in which global challenges – including broader problems of gender inequality – are tackled.