When ESF initiated its new Action Lines, the importance of Scientific Forward
Looks was quickly recognised as a key element in planning activities in a particular area of
science at both a European and a national level.
Forward Looks should stimulate new actions in terms of research and also provoke discussion on
how best to organise ourselves to deliver the identified research aims. Within the ESF context,
Forward Looks will almost certainly develop proposals for EUROCORES and impact on the
whole range of our activities and on those of our Member Organisations.
I particularly welcome the Forward Look on Global Change Research as it is not only the first
Forward Look but it has developed a set of recommendations which demands action from
scientists and research organisations.
The reasons for a Forward Look on Earth System Science
Scientific research in global change is, by its very nature, an international endeavour. Yet its
funding is predominantly a responsibility of individual national funding agencies. This situation has worked relatively well as long as collaboration was a matter for individual scientists in different countries, although travel money and sometime
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