The future of International Cooperation in Geophysics for the benefit of whom?



In recent years the structure of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and the actions of many ICSU bodies have increasingly come under criticism from governments, scientific academies, and individual scientists. National committees are taking a hard look at the benefits of adhering to nongovernmental organizations, and threats of withdrawal are being voiced here and there. The worldwide wave of nationalism and/or isolationism, the wave of anti-intellectualism sweeping through many countries, and the frightening turn to introspection and to irrational beliefs of the young generation in many countries all have had an impact on government and politics that in my view seriously imperils the future of international cooperation in scientific research. Those of us scientists who feel a social responsibility and accountability to our fellow men and women cannot remain indifferent.