Representatives from 44 nations gathered at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, in May to endorse a set of principles to guide each country’s scientific peer-review systems. The two-day meeting marked the debut of the Global Research Council (GRC), an organization that will convene annually to address topics of concern to the international scientific community.

“By forming the research council, we have taken the first step towards a more unified approach to the scientific process on a global scale,” NSF director Subra Suresh told reporters. The council, he said, “is intended to be a voluntary, virtual organization that discusses shared goals and aspirations and principles but also provides a vehicle to further science in a unified way across the globe.”

The council traces its origin to a 2010 meeting called by the now defunct European Heads of Research Councils, which the US, other developed nations, and nations with emerging research capabilities...

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