International Science Council and scientific unions

Canada's engagement with the International Science Council

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), on behalf of Canada's scientific and engineering community, is an active participant on the world stage, playing a key role in a number of international science and technology networks of strategic importance for Canada.

Since 1919, the NRC has been an adhering member to the International Science Council (ISC) and its predecessor organizations. The ISC is a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together 40 international scientific unions and associations, and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including academies and research councils.

The ISC was launched in 2018 following a merger of the International Council for Science (ICSU)—representing the natural and physical sciences—and the International Social Science Council (ISSC)—representing the social, economic and behavioural sciences. The ISC is unique in its capacity to bring together scientific excellence and science policy expertise across fields of science and across the regions of the world.

The ISC mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. The organization fulfills this mission by promoting international scientific activity in the different branches of science and interdisciplinary projects.

Canadian membership managed by the NRC

Through the Grants to International Affiliations (GIA) program, the NRC supports Canada's membership to over 30 international scientific unions and programs, including the ISC and EUREKA. The NRC has signed partnership agreements with Canadian learned societies and/or agencies to establish Canadian national committees in support of Canada's affiliations to these international scientific organizations.

Membership in international fora forms part of Canada's overall international engagement, provides a platform for Canadian scientists at the global level, and supports science and technology excellence in Canada. The participation of Canada's scientific community in international scientific organizations and international projects provides networking, advocacy, leadership and benchmarking opportunities, and helps Canadian scientists continue to contribute to the world's most complex sustainable development goals such as fighting climate change and finding innovative solutions for world hunger, poverty and clean energy.

International scientific unions to which the NRC adheres

International scientific organizationsCanadian learned societies/agencies
Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)NRC
Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)Canadian Space Agency
International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam (IAPWS)CANDU Owners Group
International Astronomical Union (IAU)Canadian Astronomical Society
International Commission on Illumination (CIE)NRC
International Science Council (ISC)NRC
International Geographical Union (IGU)Canadian Association of Geographers
International Mathematical Union (IMU)Canadian Mathematical Society
International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)Canadian Quaternary Association
About the IPA - International Permafrost AssociationGeological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada
International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)Canadian Geotechnical Society
International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB)Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences
International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)Canadian Light Source
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)Canadian Geophysical Union
International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences
International Union for History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST – DHST/DLMPST)Canadian Society of History and Philosophy of Science
International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS)Canadian Nutrition Society
International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB)Biophysical Society of Canada
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)NRC
International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)NRC
International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR)Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS)Canadian Physiological Society
International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)Canadian Psychological Association
International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM)Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)Canadian Space Agency
International Union of Radio Science (URSI)NRC
World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)Environment and Climate Change Canada