International Science Council

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International Science Council
Seat Paris
founding 1931

place Paris
resolution 2018 (merger to (ISC) )
president Gordon McBean (until 2018)
Manager Heide Hackmann (until 2018)

The International Council for Science ( English International Council for Science , French Conseil International pour la Science ), short ICSU, formerly International Council of Scientific Unions , was the international umbrella organization of scientific societies and scientific academies founded in 1931 and based in Paris .

In July 2018, ICSU merged with the International Social Science Council ( ISSC) to form the International Science Council (ISC) as part of a constituent general assembly in Paris .


The association was a scientific nonprofit and non-governmental organization that set itself the goal of promoting scientific and technological activities around the world, strengthening research resources and increasing public understanding of science. The organization worked closely with the UN and other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Members were 25 international associations and 95 national academies. The German-speaking countries were represented by the German Research Foundation , the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Swiss Academy of Sciences . The Executive Board acted as the board of directors , and every three years the General Assembly of the members who fully finance the ICSU took place. After the merger to form the ISC, all ICSU members were adopted as members of the ISC.


After the First World War , the International Research Council , or IRC for short , was founded in Paris in 1918 , and its first general assembly was held in Brussels in 1919. The restrictive statutes prevented the successor states of the former Central Powers, namely the German Empire and the Republic of Austria, from entering. To ensure that it stays that way, a weighted voting right was conceived, taking into account the colonial population of the individual states, and the statutes were declared unalterable for the next twelve years. As a result, the debates about easing the admission conditions in 1922 and 1925 each ended with negative results, even if in the latter case the vote was only narrowly missed. When France's resistance to German membership crumbled from 1926 onwards, after years of systematically suppressing and boycotting German science, Germany was not ready to join the IRC.

In 1931, the statutes were completely redesigned and the new name International Council for Scientific Unions , or ICSU for short , was adopted. After all activities came to a standstill in the Second World War, the cooperation was resumed after the new World War, and to a much greater extent than before. With the inglorious history of the IRC, which was characterized more by political squabbles than by scientific work, there was less and less desire to be associated, so that today 1931 is usually given as the official founding date.

In 1998 it was renamed the International Council for Science , but the abbreviation ICSU was retained to avoid confusion with other organizations.

At the Extraordinary General Assembly in Oslo in October 2016, it was decided with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) to coordinate a merger of the two councils. At the General Assembly in Taipei in October 2017, the ICSU and ISSC decided to merge in 2018 under the name of the International Science Council (ISC) .

Members (international associations)


See also


  • Schroeder-Gudehus, B. Challenge to Transnational Loyalities: International Scientific Organizations after the First World War in Science Studies , Vol. 3, No. 2 (Apr. 1973), pp. 93-118
  • Greenaway, F. 1996. Science International: A History of the International Council of Scientific Unions , Cambridge University Press

Individual evidence

  1. icsu-issc.gitbooks.i: The ISSC-ICSU merger process ("The ISSC-ICSU merger process"), June 30, 2018.
  2. ICSU members ( memento from December 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), not listed on the ICSU webpage, accessed on December 3, 2015.
  3. About IUBMB , ICSU member in self-presentation, accessed on December 3, 2015.
  4. ICSU Web Page , accessed December 2, 2015.