Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
International Council for Science
The International Council for Science (ICSU), formerly called the International Council of Scientific Unions, was founded in 1931 as an international non-governmental organization devoted to international co-operation in the advancement of science. Its members are national science research councils or academies (98 of them), and international scientific unions (27 of them), including the International Mathematical Union, the International Astronomical Union and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
Its mission is:
- To identify and address major issues of importance to science and society, by mobilising the resources and knowledge of the international scientific community; to promote the participation of all scientists, irrespective of race, citizenship, language, political stance or gender in the international scientific endeavour; to facilitate interactions between different scientific disciplines and between scientists from ‘Developing’ and ‘Developed’ countries; to stimulate constructive debate by acting as an authoritative independent voice for international science and scientists.
ICSU was founded to bring together natural scientists in international scientific endeavour. It comprises 101 multi-disciplinary National Scientific Members, Associates and Observers (scientific research councils or science academies) and 27 international, single-discipline Scientific Unions. ICSU also has 24 Scientific Associates.
One of the fundamental principles of ICSU is that of the universality of science, which affirms the right and freedom of scientists to associate in international scientific activity without regard to such factors as citizenship, religion, creed, political stance, ethnic origin, race, colour, language, age or sex.
The Council acts as a focus for the exchange of ideas and information and the development of standards. Hundreds of congresses, symposia and other scientific meetings are organized each year around the world, and a wide range of newsletters, handbooks and journals is published.
The principal source of ICSU's finances is the contributions it receives from its Members. Other sources of income are the framework contracts from UNESCO 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.
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