Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)

SCOSTEP runs international interdisciplinary scientific programs and promotes solar-terrestrial physics research by providing the necessary scientific framework for international collaboration and dissemination of the derived scientific knowledge in collaboration with other ISC bodies.

Polar lights Álftavatn, Iceland

The Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) was established in January 1966 by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), our precedessor organization, as the Inter-Union Commission on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (IUCSTP). In September 1978, with the ratification of the current Constitution by the XVIIth ICSU General Assembly, SCOSTEP became a Scientific Committee of ICSU charged with the long-term responsibility of promoting international interdisciplinary programs of finite duration in solar-terrestrial physics. It aims to: 1) develop and sustain student interest in Sun-Earth connections, 2) promote efficient exchange of data and information between solar and terrestrial scientists in all countries, and 3) seek projects and programs that cross over traditional boundaries of physical regions and focused scientific disciplines.

SCOSTEP is engaged in three major activities: long-term scientific programs, capacity building and public outreach. The scientific programs are designed to advance our understanding of the solar-terrestrial relationship using space and ground-based observations, cutting-edge models and theory. Thus SCOSTEP scientific programs are of interdisciplinary nature and involve scientists from all around the world. The underlying theme of these programs is the way the Sun affects the Earth over various time-scales. SCOSTEP’s current scientific program, VarSITI (Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact) expands the solar-terrestrial physics into the broader context of star-planet interaction to further our understanding of Sun-Earth connection.


The Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) is a thematic body of the International Science Council (ISC). SCOSTEP promotes the ISC’s mission to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. Its responsibilities as a Scientific Committee of the ISC are to promote international interdisciplinary programmes in solar-terrestrial physics, and to organize and coordinate such programmes of interest to and approved by at least two of the Participating Bodies, to define the data relating to these programmes that should be exchanged through the World Data System, to provide such advice as may be required by the ISC bodies and World Data System concerned with these programmes, and to work with other ISC bodies in the coordination of symposia in solar-terrestrial physics, especially on topics related to SCOSTEP’s programmes.

The Council of SCOSTEP is comprised of Adherent Representatives, meaning unions and other ISC bodies that express an interest in some aspect of solar-terrestrial physics. The ISC is in charge of reviewing SCOSTEP, defining review terms of reference, appointing review panel members, funding and science officers.

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