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The Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO) strengthens U.S. participation in international scientific cooperation through overseeing a network of U.S. national committees (USNCs) and working with a variety of projects connected to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and ICSU-related unions. More details can be found in the BISO Background Section.  


2014 AAAS Symposium - “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes”
This February 15th symposium examined high-latitude changes linked to mid-latitude weather and the effect of these complex phenomena on freshwater resources, food availability, and national security. This event was spearheaded by the U.S. National Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics, and co-sponsored by the U.S. National Committees for INQUA, Soil Sciences, and Geological Sciences. 

Click below to see the BBC's coverage and interview with Jennifer Francis (1:51 minutes)

Image courtesy NASA. Original file:

Other press from “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes":

The Economist: Is polar warming to blame for America’s and Britain’s bad winter weather?
National Public Radio: Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream To Lose Its Way
Time Magazine: Tired Of Endless Winter? Blame Changing Jet Stream

An audio file of the symposium, the presentations given by each speaker, and a more complete list of media coverage can be found on the 2014 Santa's Revenge archive page.

2015 INQUA Congress Extended Deadline for Abstract and Financial Support Submission: January 8, 2015
Once every four years, Quaternary researchers from all over the world meet at the INQUA Congress to exchange the latest research results and develop agendas for the years to come. In 2015, the Congress will take place in Nagoya, Japan from July 27 to August 2. The Congress program will address the themes of the Commissions during six days of oral and poster sessions, plenary presentations, and side meetings. 

January 8, 2015 is the 2015 Congress deadline to:

The USNC/INQUA will work towards establishing a travel fellowship program for U.S. early career scientists. Please check back for updates on the USNC/INQUA homepage

More details on these opportunities can be found in this link (PDF)

America’s Geologic Heritage Invitational Workshop: Meeting Summary
The U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Geological Sciences (USNC/IUGS), with the sponsorship of federal and state government agencies and academic associations, convened this workshop in March 2013 in Lakewood, CO, to examine geologic heritage principles and to promote collaboration and cooperation on geologic heritage and geologic conservation in the United States. A PDF of this meeting summary can now be found online.

ICSU's Future Earth Program
Future Earth is a 10–year international program on Earth system research for global sustainability. The program is being carried out through the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance), comprised of the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Belmont Forum (composed of international science funding agencies, including NSF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as an observer.

For more information on the Future Earth Program, please consult the Future Earth Initial Design Report.

Future Earth to Have Globally Distributed Secretariat
Future Earth will have a new Secretariat, with a unique and innovative structure that spans three continents, as announced by the International Council for Science on behalf of the members of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance). Over 20 expressions of interest were received for the Future Earth Secretariat. The new Secretariat comprises five global hubs, which will function as a single entity. They are located in the United States (Colorado), Canada (Montreal), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), and Sweden (Stockholm). The consortium of global hubs is currently working with the Alliance to refine details of its proposal, ahead of agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding. For more details, please consult the ICSU website.

IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP): Application Deadline - January 12, 2015
Each summer, IIASA hosts a selected group of graduate students, primarily doctoral, from around the world in its Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP). Participants are able to develop and expand their research topics and partake in a worldwide network of specialists with broad interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives. Since the program’s conception in 1977, more than 1400 participants from over 70 countries have collaborated with IIASA researchers and engaged in scientific research of regional and global importance. The 2015 program will be held June 1 - August 31, 2015. Only complete applications received by January 12, 2015 will be considered. More details can be found on IIASA’s website.

Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation
For several years, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Optics has urged the National Research Council to update its 1998 report, Harnessing Light I, Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century. With the 2013 release of Harnessing Light II, Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, that goal has been achieved. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Optics was instrumental in the early stages of the effort. In 2007, the committee wrote a white paper which outlined the need for such an update and eventually served as the basis for the study. Two members of the USAC served on the committee releasing the new report. Alan Willner served as co-chair of the Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation report committee, and Duncan Moore, chair of the USAC and president of the International Commission on Optics, served as a committee member. The sponsoring society members of the USAC, particularly SPIE and the Optical Society of America (OSA), have pledged their active engagement in report dissemination. View the press release. The report PDF can be downloaded and print copies may be ordered at the National Academies Press website.

The Case for International Sharing of Scientific Data: A Focus on Developing Countries
The Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO), and the U.S. Committee on Data for Science and Technology (US CODATA) under the Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI), in consultation with the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) of the International Council for Science (ICSU), organized a 2-day international symposium in Washington, DC on April 18-19, 2011. We are pleased to announce the release of the proceedings of the speaker presentations from that meeting, The Case for International Sharing of Scientific Data: A Focus on Developing Countries. PDFs of the symposium proceedings can be downloaded and print copies may be ordered at the National Academies Press website.

The main objective of the symposium was to gain better understanding of the data access and sharing situation in the developing world, with a focus on barriers, opportunities, and future actions. There are
various hurdles to the access and sharing of scientific data collected by governments or by researchers using public funding. Such obstacles include scientific and technical; institutional and management; economic and financial; legal and policy; and normative and socio-cultural barriers. Some of these difficulties are possible to diminish or remove, whereas others seek to balance competing values that impose legitimate limitations on openness.


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number IIA-1332689. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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