ICSU-China held a plenary meeting in the China Hall of Science and Technology on Jan. 12, 2017. More than 50 members attended the meeting, including Li Jinghai, vice president of CAST, who is also vice president of ICSU and advisor to ICSU-China , Prof. Yuan Yaxiang, vice president of CAST, Liu Yaolin, vice president of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), Chen Jun, president of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), Guo Huadong, former president of ICSU’s Scientific and Technical Data Committee (CODATA) and Scientific Committee member of the Integrated Disaster Risk Research Program (IRDR) , ICSU-China members Chen Yuntai, Zhou Qifeng and Cui Peng. Zhang Jiansheng, director general of CAST department of International Affairs, who also serves as vice chairman of ICSU-China. The meeting was chaired by Wu Guoxiong, Chairman of ICSU-China.
Wang Qinglin, ICSU-China secretary-general and deputy director general of CAST department of international affairs, made a report on the work in 2016. Li Jinghai briefed the meeting of the planned merger of ICSU and ISSC. Cheng Qiuming, president of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), and Fu Lijie, executive board member of the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX), gave presentations on the topics of "International Union of Geological Sciences" and "Chinese Society of Toxicology and IUTOX" respectively, introducing the recent developments of ICSU from different perspectives. Representatives of ICSU's three major international scientific programs, the Integrated Disaster Risk Research, the Future Earth and the Urban Environmental Change and Human Well-being, reported on the progress in 2016 and their work plan for 2017.
The meeting reviewed the 2016 CAST and its affiliated members’ involvement in ICSU from five aspects, including nomination of candidates for positions in ICSU family organizations, participation in their activities, communication with the ICSU family, support ICSU activities, etc. The latest developments of ICSU, and societies’ experiences of participation in ICSU activities were introduced. A review of the problems that would possibly emerge in the process of merger of ICSU and the International Council for Social Sciences (ISSC) and the 2017 work plan were made. The meeting also discussed topics such as the challenges and opportunities brought about with the merger of ICSU and ISSC, how to encourage the creation of new scientific organizations of interdisciplinary and emerging disciplines in China, how to initiate scientific programs and how to encourage related international scientific and technological organizations to set up branches or offices in China.
The meeting recommended that CAST strengthen its communication with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and ICSU Secretariat, support ICSU-related activities through international exchange programs, and enhance capacity building of ICSU-China and enhance the influence of the domestic scientific societies.
Wu Guoxiong pointed out in the summary that CAST should get prepared in advance to deal with the problems after the merger of ICSU and ISSC. CAST should organize and coordinate scientists to participate in the 32nd ICSU General Assembly and make full use of international scientific and technological resources to promote China's innovation-driven development strategy so as to contribute to building China into a world powerhouse of science and technology.