International Council For Science
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International Council For Science

International Council for Science (ICSU)
Logo of ICSU
SuccessorInternational Science Council
Formation1931; 89 years ago (1931)
DissolvedJuly 2018; 2 years ago (2018-07)
HeadquartersParis, France
Gordon McBean
WebsiteInternational Council for Science
Formerly called
International Council of Scientific Unions
  Members as participants in the Caribbean Academy of Sciences or University of the South Pacific

The International Council for Science (ICSU, after its former name, International Council of Scientific Unions) was an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the advancement of science. Its members were national scientific bodies and international scientific unions.

In July 2018, the ICSU merged with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) to form the International Science Council (ISC).

In 2017, the ICSU comprised 122 multi-disciplinary National Scientific Members, Associates and Observers representing 142 countries and 31 international, disciplinary Scientific Unions. ICSU also had 22 Scientific Associates.[1]

Mission and principles

The ICSU's mission was to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, the ICSU mobilized the knowledge and resources of the international scientific community to:

  • Identify and address major issues of importance to science and society.
  • Facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries.
  • Promote the participation of all scientists -- regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance, or gender -- in the international scientific endeavour.
  • Provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector."[2]

Activities focused on three areas: International Research Collaboration, Science for Policy, and Universality of Science.


In July 2018, the ICSU became the International Science Council (ISC).

The ICSU itself was one of the oldest non-governmental organizations in the world, representing 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). In 1998, Members agreed that the Council's current composition and activities would be better reflected by modifying the name from the International Council of Scientific Unions to the International Council for Science, while its rich history and strong identity would be well served by retaining the existing acronym, ICSU.[3]

Universality of science

The ICSU Principle of Universality of Science states: "the free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. Such practice, in all its aspects, requires freedom of movement, association, expression and communication for scientists, as well as equitable access to data, information, and other resources for research. It requires responsibility at all levels to carry out and communicate scientific work with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency, recognising its benefits and possible harms.
In advocating the free and responsible practice of science, ICSU promotes equitable opportunities for access to science and its benefits, and opposes discrimination based on such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or age." [4] Adherence to this Principle is a condition of ICSU membership. The Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) "serves as the guardian of the Principle and undertakes a variety of actions to defend scientific freedoms and promote integrity and responsibility."[5]


The ICSU Secretariat (20 staff in 2012) in Paris ensured the day-to-day planning and operations under the guidance of an elected Executive Board. Three Policy Committees - Committee on Scientific Planning and Review (CSPR), Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) and Committee on Finance - assisted the Executive Board in its work and a General Assembly of all Members was convened every three years. ICSU has three Regional Offices - Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.


The principal source of ICSU's finances was the contributions it receives from its members. Other sources of income are the framework contracts from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and grants and contracts from United Nations bodies, foundations and agencies, which are used to support the scientific activities of the ICSU Unions and interdisciplinary bodies.

Member Scientific Unions

Abbreviation Union Member Since Field
IAU International Astronomical Union 1922 Astronomy
IBRO International Brain Research Organization 1993 Neuroscience
ICA International Cartographic Association 1990 Cartography
IGU International Geographical Union 1923 Geography
IMU International Mathematical Union 1922 Mathematics
INQUA International Union for Quaternary Research 2005 Quaternary Period
ISA International Sociological Association 2011 Sociology and Social Sciences
ISPRS International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 2002 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
IUAES International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences 1993 Anthropology and Ethnology
IUBMB International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 1955 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IUBS International Union of Biological Sciences 1925 Biology
IUCr International Union of Crystallography 1947 Crystallography
IUFRO International Union of Forest Research Organizations 2005 Forestry
IUFoST International Union of Food Science and Technology 1996 Food science and Food technology
IUGG International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 1919 Geodesy and Geophysics
IUGS International Union of Geological Sciences 1922 Geology
IUHPS International Union of History and Philosophy of Science 1922 History of science and Philosophy of science
IUIS International Union of Immunological Societies 1976 Immunology
IUMRS International Union of Materials Research Societies 2005 Materials science
IUMS International Union of Microbiological Societies 1982 Microbiology
IUNS International Union of Nutritional Sciences 1968 Nutrition
IUPAB International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics 1966 Biophysics
IUPAC International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry 1922 Chemistry
IUPAP International Union of Pure and Applied Physics 1922 Physics
IUPESM International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine 1999 Medical physics
IUPHAR International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology 1972 Pharmacology
IUPS International Union of Physiological Sciences 1955 Physiology
IUPsyS International Union of Psychological Science 1982 Psychology
IUSS International Union of Soil Sciences 1993 Soil science
IUTAM International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics 1947 Mechanics
IUTOX International Union of Toxicology 1996 Toxicology
URSI International Union of Radio Science 1922 Radio science

Member Scientific Associates

See also


  1. ^ ICSU's Our Members web page, updated on 6 October 2017
  2. ^ ISC's About Us web page, updated on 14 December 2011
  3. ^ ISC's A Brief History web page, updated on 6 October 2017
  4. ^ International Council for Science (September 2011). Statutes and Rules of Procedure (PDF). Paris, France: ISCU. p. 2. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ ISC's Universality of Science web section, updated on 6 October 2017


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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