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The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organisation with a mission to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community to:

  • Identify and address major issues of importance to science and society;
  • Facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries;
  • Promote the participation of all scientists—regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance, or gender—in the international scientific endeavour;
  • Provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector.

ICSU has three Regional Offices based in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. The activities of the offices are guided by dedicated regional scientific committees. For more information on ICSU, click here.

ICSU South Africa

The South African International Council for Science Secretariat (ICSU-SA) serves the South African scientific community and most of the ICSU scientific unions and affiliates to which South Africa adheres. South Africa’s engagement with ICSU is managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The main aim of DST/NRF engagement in ICSU is to maximise South Africa’s participation in global events and solicit opportunities from ICSU that can benefit South Africa and Africa at large.  There are approximately 30 South African National Committees/Unions affiliated to ICSU-SA (See Annex 1). The main objectives of ICSU-SA are to:

  • Internationalise the research platform;
  • Enhance networking within the science system;
  • Foster collaboration in order to improve the quality of research outputs by researchers;
  • Increase the number of SA scientists on the international arena.

ICSU National Board of South Africa

The ICSU South Africa National Board provides advice and direction on priorities of ICSU SA, taking into consideration the recommendations from committees and the secretariat. Click here to download a list of the current National Board Members.

ICSU-SA membership fees and grants

The DST through the NRF contributes membership dues for ICSU-SA committees to the ICSU secretariat. The DST/NRF also provides annual grants for ICSU-SA related activities to affiliated committee members. The two types of ICSU-SA grants supported by the DST/NRF are: (i) mobility and (ii) support for hosting of ICSU-related events in South Africa. Click here to download the 2015 ICSU Call Guidelines.

Contact details

Ms Lynn Ngwenya
Tel: +27 12 481 4244
Email: lynn.ngwenya@nrf.ac.za

Annexure 1 – ICSU committees

To download committee profile, click on respective committee.

  1. The South African National Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)
  2. The National Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) & the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)
  3. The International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  4. The National Committee of the International Cartographic Association (ICA)
  5. The South African National Committee for the International Geographical Union (IGU)
  6. The South African National Committee for International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
  7. The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)
  8. The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG
  9. The South African National Committee of the International Union of Geological Science (IUGS) and the International Correlation Programme (IGCP)
  10. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
  11. The South African National Committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS)
  12. South Africa’s National Committee for International Union of Psychological Studies (IUPsyS)
  13. The National Committee for the International Union of Nutrition Sciences (IUNS) and the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFOST)
  14. The South African Association for Theoretical Applied Mechanics (SATAM) and the Adhering Organisation of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM)        
  15. The South African Committee of the International Mathematics Union (IMU)
  16. The International Union of Biological Sciences (SANC-IUBS)  
  17. The Science Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR)
  18. The International Union of Radio Science (URSI)
  19. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR)
  20. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)
  21. The International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS
  22. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)
  23. The International Brain Research Organization (IBRO
  24. The International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) 
  25. International Union of Forestry Research Organization (UFRO)
  26. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)
  27. International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB)
  28. International Water Association (IWA)
  29. International Council for Scientific and Technological Information (ICSTI)
  30. International Council on Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS)