The 21st century poses new challenges ahead, which need to be addressed by the international community as a whole through international cooperation. The management of climate change, the use of artificial intelligence, the control over activities carried out at sea or in the space, the achievement of food and water security, the maintenance of public health, the exploitation of natural resources, the development of genetics and GMOs are only some of such new challenges. As a consequence, a deep reflection on traditional tools of international law must be carried out; traditional decision-making processes, legal instruments and State responsibility, among others, must be reconsidered in order to better address and responsibly manage scientific progress. It is necessary to address how States interact and cooperate in the management of new scientific challenges and try to investigate pros and cons of harmonizing trends versus the need to respect environmental, social and economic features of each State and community in a globalized context. This reflection raises some fundamental questions such as: what are the relevant sources of international law and what role is reserved to soft law? What role is left for States in science compared to other subjects and platform of dialogue, such as partnerships, agencies and experts? What is the role of private actors and how can it impact on the traditional concept of State responsibility?