BISO Home > About the Board on International Scientific Organizations
ABOUT THE BOARD
The Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO) examines issues related to the conduct of science; evaluates opportunities for international collaboration in scientific research; and strengthens U.S. participation in international scientific, engineering, and medical organizations. BISO provides information about these organizations to the leadership of The National Academies, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of State, among others.
THE RELATIONSHIP TO ICSU
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was a founding member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) as well as most of the scientific unions federated within it. ICSU---a non-governmental organization created in 1931 to advance, serve, and enable science---provides a wide spectrum of scientific expertise, enabling members to address major international, interdisciplinary issues. Membership to ICSU is divided into two categories: national members (multidisciplinary scientific academies or research councils) and scientific union members (international, disciplinary organizations).
BISO represents the NAS as the U.S. national member of ICSU and fulfills its membership responsibilities through
- sending the U.S. delegation to the triennial General Assembly of ICSU,
- responding to requests from ICSU,
- nominating individuals to serve on committees and as officers of ICSU,
- alerting ICSU to important new issues, and
- monitoring the activities of ICSU.
U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEES
BISO also oversees a network of U.S. National Committees (USNCs) corresponding to various ICSU scientific member bodies. BISO convenes regular meetings of the USNC chairs to improve communication and foster cooperative activities among the committees. It seeks USNC input on issues confronting ICSU and its member bodies and informs them of the input NAS is considering in its role as a national member of ICSU.
OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
BISO considers U.S. involvement in other international nongovernmental science and technology organizations, such as the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the InterAcademy Panel for International Issues (IAP), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), UNESCO, and the International Centre for Theoretical and Applied Physics (ICTP). It seeks cooperation with international organizations in the engineering, social, and medical sciences or with any organization that works in partnership with ICSU. The BISO director represents the NAS on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. She also serves on the Trieste System for Optical Sciences and Applications (TSOSA) Advisory Group, which promotes optical sciences in the developing world.
Support for BISO, U.S.-ICSU, and U.S. National Committee activities is provided under Grant No. 0614728 from the National Science Foundation.
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