International Council of Scientific Unions

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International Council of Scientific Unions

"Founded in 1931 to promote international scientific activity in the different branches of science and its application for the benefit of humanity, the International Council for Science (ICSU) is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in the world. It represents the evolution and expansion of two earlier bodies known as the International Association of Academies (IAA; 1899-1914) and the International Research Council (IRC; 1919-1931). ICSU's strength and uniqueness lies in its dual membership, National Scientific Members and International Scientific Unions, whose wide spectrum of scientific expertise allows ICSU to address major, international, interdisciplinary issues which its Members could not handle alone.

"ICSU seeks to accomplish its role in a number of ways. Over the years, it has addressed specific global issues through the creation of Interdisciplinary Bodies, and of Joint Initiatives in partnership with other organizations. Important programmes of the past include the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) and the International Biological Programme (1964-74). Major current programmes include the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme: A Study of Global Change (IGBP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), DIVERSITAS: An Integrated Programme of Biodiversity Science and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).

"In 1992, ICSU was invited to act as principal scientific adviser to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and, again in 2002, to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. Prior to UNCED, ICSU organized an International Conference on an Agenda of Science for Environment and Development into the 21st Century (ASCEND 21) in Vienna, in 1991, and ten years later, ICSU mobilized the scientific community even more broadly by organizing, with the help of other organizations, a Scientific Forum in parallel to the WSSD itself. ICSU is also actively participating in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, 2003 and Tunis, 2005." [1]

Executive Board

Accessed November 2009: [2]

From Union Members

From National Members



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. History, International Council of Scientific Unions, accessed November 20, 2009.
  2. Executive Board, International Council of Scientific Unions, accessed November 20, 2009.