International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) is the only international physics organization that is run by the international physics community, with the mission to assist in the worldwide development of physics, to foster international cooperation in physics, and to help in the application of physics toward solving problems of concern to humanity.

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The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) was established in 1922 in Brussels, Belgium and the first General Assembly was held in 1923 in Paris, France.

Aims of the IUPAP

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  • Assist in the worldwide development of physics and promote physics as an essential tool for development and sustainability
  • Engage in the strengthening and improvement of physics education, particularly in developing countries
  • Increase diversity and inclusion in physics, enhancing the participation and recognition of women and of people from under-represented groups
  • Foster international cooperation and sponsor suitable international physics meetings;
  • Promote the free circulation of scientists and the open access to data
  • Enhance the vital role of early career physicists
  • Strengthen the links with physicists working outside academia and with other scientific communities
  • Uphold openness, honesty and integrity in the practice, application and promotion of physics
  • Promote international agreements on symbols, units, nomenclature and standards

Governance and Structure

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The IUPAP is governed by its General Assembly, which meets every three years. The IUPAP Council is its top executive body, supervising the activities of specialized International Commissions, Affiliated Commissions and Working Groups. The Union is composed of Members representing identified physics communities.

As one of the basic sciences, physics relates to all branches of natural science. Many of the most exciting developments take place in the border areas between different disciplines. To cover interdisciplinary activities, IUPAP maintains close liaison with several other international scientific Unions.

The IUPAP endorses and sponsors international conferences and workshops, and sponsors a number of awards for scientists at different stages of their careers.

International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development 2022

The IUPAP developed the proposal for the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD2022), which was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2021.

📣 Read the press release on the proclamation of the IYBSSD2022

Open Science

In May 2021, the IUPAP formed part of the ISC delegation to the UNESCO Special Committee meeting on Open Science, and contributed to the publication of a respective statement exploring how the UNESCO Open Science recommendation and potential cascading interventions by Member States could develop along two divergent pathways.

📣 Read the statement from the ISC delegation on Open Science

Gender Equality in Science

The IUPAP contributed to the implementation of the ISC Gender Gap in Science Project, and the publication of the 2020 project report, which found that women’s experiences in both educational and employment settings are consistently less positive than men’s. The report suggests four strategies in order to inspire young women to pursue careers in scientific fields.

📣 Download the Gender Gap in Science report

📣 Explore the multimedia portal “Gender Equality in Science”

Visit the IUPAP website

Follow IUPAP on Twitter @IUPAP_physics

Follow IUPAP on Facebook @iupap

The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has been a Member of the International Science Council since 1922.

Photo 1 by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
Photo 2 by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash
Photo 3 by Sunder Muthukumaran on Unsplash


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