THE BOARD ON INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS
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: http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/629341main_Earth_jet_stream.jpg.
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.
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's Postdoctoral Program
The U.S. NMO of IIASA would like to encourage eligible parties to apply for IIASA’s Postdoctoral Program. The program annually provides funding for four postdoctoral researchers for a 12-24 month period. The program serves to:
- Encourage and promote the development of young researchers.
- Offer young researchers the opportunity to further their careers by gaining
hands-on professional research experience in a highly international scientific environment.
- Enrich IIASA’s intellectual environment and help achieve research program goals.
- Successful candidates are expected to conduct their own research within one of IIASA's research programs or special projects on topics related to IIASA's agenda.
Visit the IIASA web site for an overview of IIASA’s research activities, conditions and eligibility, and application materials.
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.