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Board on International Scientific Organizations
Policy and Global Affairs
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Tel: +1 202-334-2807
Fax: +1 202-334-2231

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BISO Events Calendar

Events of US National
Committees and
international unions
associated with BISO




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.  


"Building Bridges Between Science and Policy": IIASA Systems Analysis Conference 2015
November's Systems Analysis Conference in Laxenburg, Austria featured three days of speakers and posters jointly organized by IIASA and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. On November 12, Director of Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study Robbert Dijkgraaf presented a lecture on "Building Bridges Between Science and Policy." Dr. Dijkgraaf maintains that science and policy are two fundamentally opposed arenas with distinct sets of interests, and must "build bridges" to better understand each other. He also discusses inequities in global scientific research output, disconnects between scientific community and general public consensus, and and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in solving global problems. Watch Dr. Dijkgraaf's complete lecture below.

IIASA Systems Analysis Conference, November 11-13
Globalization, economic and political shifts, environmental challenges, and social conflicts all challenge our world today. Systems analysis offers a way to look at these issues broadly and in depth, and to identify possible solutions. IIASA's Systems Analysis 2015 conference highlighted "recent advances, current lacunas, and untapped disciplinary potentials in the field of systems analysis, with the aim of demonstrating the unique prowess of systems thinking for navigating a swiftly changing and increasingly complex world." The conference, sponsored by Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the Complexity Institute at Nanyang Technological University, and the Santa Fe Institute, was webcast live.

Four NAS Workshop Participants Discuss Additive Manufacturing
Ade Makinde (GE Global Research Center), Tahany El-Wardany (United Technologies Research Center), Peter Olmstead (Georgetown University), and Joseph Beaman (University of Texas - Austin) answer your questions on additive manufacturing in a new NAS video.

2016 YSSP Registration is Now Open
IIASA is now accepting applications for the 2016 Young Scientists Summer Program, held from June 1 to August 31 in Laxenburg, Austria. The YSSP allows young researchers from all over the world to partner with IIASA scientific staff and explore an area of interest, build contacts, and advance ongoing research.

Applications for the 2016 program are due by January 11, 2016. For information on program areas, application criteria, and previous YSSP participants, visit the IIASA YSSP webpage.

Summer 2016 Fellowship Opportunity for Graduate Students
Science, engineering, and STEM education master's and Ph.D. students are encouraged to apply for the National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) Fellowship Program. The selected summer 2016 fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend and roundtrip airfare to one of seven host locations (Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan) for an 8-week (10 weeks for Japan) stay.

The deadline to apply for summer 2016 is Thursday, November 12, 2015.

Current Opportunities for Students, Faculty, and Researchers
The following USNC-sponsored workshops, conferences, calls for papers, and travel award opportunities are in progress. Click on the links to learn more.

  • ICO: SPIE Optics + Photonics 2016 in San Diego, California, August 28-September 1, 2016.
    Abstract Submission Deadline: February 8, 2016.
    Registration Opens May 6, 2016 and Closes August 24, 2016.
  • INQUA: Travel Grants to attend the American Quaternary Association (AMQUA) 2016 Biennial Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, June 28-July 2, 2016.
    Application Deadline: April 10, 2016.
    Notification of Acceptance: April 25, 2016.
  • IUGS: Geological Society of America, the GSA Foundation, and the USNC/IUGS Travel Grant Program to attend the IUGS International Geological Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, August 27-September 4, 2016.
    Application Deadline: February 19, 2016.
  • IUPsyS: APA-USNC International Travel/Mentoring Program for U.S. Scholars to attend the 2016 International Congress of Psychology in Yokohama, Japan, July 2016.
    Application Deadline: December 1, 2015.
    Notification of Acceptance: January 15, 2016.
2015 is the International Year of Soils
In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated December 5 as World Soil Day and declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils (IYS). The designations were made in recognition of sustainable soil management’s essential role in food security, hunger eradication, climate change adaptation, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. More information can be found on the
2015 IYS website.

Celebrate the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015)

IYL logo with UNESCO2015 has been designated as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, communications, education, agriculture and healthcare.  IYL will also explore the important role light has played, and continues to play, in history, cultural heritage, and in art..   
The International Year of Light is being supported by a number of ICSU-related scientific unions, including:
  • ICO (The International Commission for Optics)
  • IAU (International Astronomical Union)
  • ICSU (The International Council for Science)
  • ISPRS (The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing)
  • IUHPS/DHST (International Union of History and Philosophy of Science/Division of History of Science and Technology)
  • IUPAB (The International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics)
  • IUPAP (The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics)
  • IUTAM (The International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics)
  • URSI (International Union of Radio Science) 

See the USNC webpages for ICO and IAU for more information.  Further information can also be found at


  • IUGG Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, June 22-July 2, 2015. More information.
  • INQUA Congress, Nagoya, Japan, July 27-August 2. More information.
  • IAU General Assembly, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 3-14. The USNC/IAU sponsored a Women in Astronomy luncheon on August 4, a Young Astronomers luncheon on August 12, and a U.S. reception on August 6. More information.
  • IUPAC General Assembly & Congress, August 6-14. The U.S. National Committee sponsored 12 Young Observers to attend the General Assembly.  More information.


2014 AAAS Symposium - “Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes”
On February 15, 2014, BISO organized a AAAS symposium that 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, which received a significant amount of press coverage, 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. An audio file of the symposium, the presentations given by each speaker, and a list of media coverage can be found on the 2014 Santa's Revenge archive page.

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.

International Scientific Organizations

Earth Sciences

Math, Physical, & Engineering Sciences 

Social Sciences




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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