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The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a global non-governmental organisation whose mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. Its membership includes national scientific bodies and international scientific unions, as well as a number of scientific and special committees and associates. These bodies make up the ICSU "family".
ICSU promotes international scientific activity through planning and coordinating interdisciplinary research in areas of major importance to both science and society, actively advocating for freedom in the conduct of science, providing a forum for the exchange of scientific information and the development of scientific standards, and supporting over 600 scientific conferences, congresses and symposia per year worldwide, as well as the production of a wide range of newsletters, learned journals, proceedings and other publications.
The Royal Society, as the UK’s academy of science, is the UK national member for ICSU. As such it pays the overall UK subscription, coordinates the UK response to ICSU consultations, provides input into ICSU policy documents, and attends triennial ICSU General Assemblies.
The Royal Society runs a Global Environmental Research Committee (GERC) to promote and coordinate UK participation in the activities of the global environmental research programmes and committees organised by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and its component bodies. The Committee provides a unified forum to integrate the scientific development of UK participation in programmes like the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS.
UK adherence to the majority of ICSU international unions has been devolved to the relevant disciplinary learned societies.
The table below lists all the Unions and Committees of ICSU for which the Royal Society contributes part or all of the UK subscription, and the related learned societies in the UK.
Commission for the Geological Map of the World (CGMW)
British Geological Survey
COSPARCommittee on Space Research (COSPAR)
CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
International Astronomical Union (IAU )
Royal Astronomical Society
International Brain Research Organisation (ICRO)
British Neuroscience Association
International Cartographic Association (ICA)
British Cartographic Society
International Commission onOptics (ICO)
Institute of Physics (IoP)
International GeoBiosphereProgramme (IGBP)
The Royal Society
International GeologicalCorrelation Programme (IGCP)
International Geographical Union (IGU)
Royal Geographical Society
International MathematicalUnion (IMU)
London Mathematical Society
International Union forQuaternary Research (INQUA)
Quaternary Research Association
International Union Biochemistryand Molecular Biology (IUBMB)
The Biochemical Society
International Union ofCrystallography (IUCr)
British Crystallographic Association
International Union of FoodScience and Technology (IUFoST)
UK Federation of Food Science Technology (UKFFST)
International Union of Geodesyand Geophysics (IUGG)
International Union of GeologicalSciences (IUGS)
Division of History of Science International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science (IUHPS)
British Society for the History of Science
International Union ofMicrobiological Sciences (IUMS)
Several, including the Royal Society. For more information contact Society for General Microbiology
International Union of NutritionalSciences (IUNS)
The Nutrition Society
International Union of Pure andApplied Biophysics (IUPAB)
British Biophysical Society
International Union of Pure andApplied Chemistry (IUPAC)
Royal Society of Chemistry
International Union of Pure andApplied Physics (IUPAP)
Institute of Physics
International Union ofPharmacology (IUPHAR)
British Pharmacological Society
International Union ofPhysiological Sciences (IUPS)
The Physiological Society
International Union ofPsychological Sciences (IUPsyS)
British Psychological Society
International Union ofTheoretical and AppliedMechanics (IUTAM)
Scientific Committee onAntarctic Research (SCAR)
The Royal Society. For more information contact the British Antarctic Survey
Scientific Committee onProblems of the Environment (SCOPE)
The Royal Society. For more information contact the SCOPE working group
Scientific Committee onOceanic research (SCOR)
Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)
Union of Radio Science (URSI)
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