This new site gives access to information on a wide spectrum of scientific topics relevant to both science and society. ICSU’s objective is to provide a forum for scientists, whatever their country of origin or field of expertise, to come together to address major issues on an international level.
Designed as an information platform, the site provides recent reports and recommendations from Ad hoc groups setup by ICSU to address specific science and technology issues as they relate to priority areas such as sustainable development, capacity building, data and information, and emerging science. It also provides details of the important contribution that science made to the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002) and the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva 2003).
Used as a “portal” the site provides a world-wide audience with access to ICSU member organizations representing more than 100 countries (National Members) and 27 different scientific fields (Scientific Union Members). The National Members (Academies of Science or Research councils) play an important role in facilitating links with national governments and science agencies; whereas the Scientific Union Members play a crucial role as representatives of international, single-discipline communities.
Numerous other international or regional scientific organizations are linked to the ICSU site either as Scientific Associates or partners. For example, the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), a Scientific Associate of ICSU, is a key player in defining the ICSU strategy for developing countries. ICSU was founded in 1931, so it is not surprising that the first ICSU Web site went on line in 1996 –early days in Internet history. The newly designed site is the fourth generation of ICSU on the Web. It features a “Resource Centre” a structured and referenced source about on-going projects. “ICSU in science” presents ICSU initiatives and other activities presented in a convenient thematic classification.