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Board on International Scientific Organizations
Policy and Global Affairs
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth Street
Washington, DC 20001 USA
Tel: +1 202-334-2807
Fax: +1 202-334-2231

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For visa-related issues, visit International Visitors Office

Contact the IVO

Tel:+1 202-334-2807
Fax:+1 202-334-2231

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.  


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


  • INQUA Congress, Nagoya, Japan, July 27-August 2. 
  • IAU General Assembly, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 3-14. The USNC/IAU is sponsoring 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 is sponsoring 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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