About IASC

The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) is a non-governmental, international scientific organization. The Founding Articles committed IASC to pursue a mission of encouraging and facilitating cooperation in all aspects of Arctic research, in all countries engaged in Arctic research and in all areas of the Arctic region. Overall, IASC promotes and supports leading-edge interdisciplinary research in order to foster a greater scientific understanding of the Arctic region and its role in the Earth system.

Rather than defining human and environmental boundaries, IASC tries to bridge those boundaries. IASC is also committed to recognizing that Traditional Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, and “Western” scientific knowledge are coequal and complementary knowledge systems, all of which can and should inform the work of IASC.

To achieve this mission IASC:

  • Initiates, coordinates and promotes scientific activities at a circumarctic or international level;
  • Provides mechanisms and instruments to support science development;
  • Provides objective and independent scientific advice on issues of science in the Arctic and communicates scientific information to the public;
  • Seeks to ensure that scientific data and information from the Arctic are safeguarded, freely exchangeable and accessible;
  • Promotes international access to all geographic areas and the sharing of knowledge, logistics and other resources;
  • Provides for the freedom and ethical conduct of science;
  • Promotes and involves the next generation of scientists working in the Arctic; and
  • Promotes polar cooperation through interaction with relevant science organizations.

Markmið IASC (Alþjóðlega Norðurskauts­vísindanefndin) er að stuðla að samstarfi um rannsóknir á Norðurheimskautssvæðinu og að veita ráðgjöf til alþjóðasamfélagsins varðandi málefni norðurslóða. Stofnunin leiðir saman opinberar rannsóknarstofnanir og -samtök frá 23 löndum og hefur skipað sér sess sem einn mikilvægasti alþjóðlegi samstarfsvettvangurinn um rannsóknir og vöktun á norðurslóðum. Auk vísindasamtaka í norðurskautsríkjunum átta eiga aðild að nefndinni vísinda- og rannsóknarstofnanir frá Austurríki, Bretlandi, Frakklandi, Hollandi, Indlandi, Ítalíu, Japan, Kína, Portúgal, Póllandi, Suður Kóreu, Spáni, Sviss, Tékklandi og Þýskalandi.

Meginstarfsemi nefndarinnar fer fram í fimm vinnuhópum, sem skipulagðir eru út frá ólíkum viðfangsefnum: Landræn kerfi (Terrestrial), freðhvolf (Cryosphere), hafvísindi (Marine), mann- og félagsvísindi (Human & Social) og gufuhvolf (Atmosphere). Að auki veitir IASC sérstakan stuðning til verkefna sem stuðla að samstarfi þvert á vinnuhópana.

Skrifstofa IASC verður hýst hjá Rannsóknamiðstöð Íslands (Rannís) í Borgum, rannsókna- og nýsköpunarhúsi á lóð Háskólans á Akureyri, en þar eru fyrir allmargar stofnanir sem sérhæfa sig í rannsóknum, vöktun og miðlun upplýsinga um málefni norðurslóða. Á Akureyri er því öflugt norðurslóðasamfélag undir einu þaki sem gæti skapað ýmiss konar samvirkni við IASC skrifstofuna.

IASC was founded in 1990 by representatives of national scientific organizations of the eight Arctic countries - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia (at that time Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Sweden and the United States of America. The Founding Articles of IASC were signed in Resolute Bay, Canada.

Over the years, IASC has evolved into the leading international science organization of the North and its membership today includes 23 countries involved in all aspects of Arctic research, including 15 non-Arctic countries (Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK).

In the context of its 25th anniversary in 2015, IASC published a comprehensive history spanning the first planning meetings in the late 1980s until today:

Rogne, O., Rachold, V., Hacquebord, L., Corell, R. (2015) IASC after 25 year - A Quarter of a Century of International Arctic Research Cooperation. International Arctic Science Committee. 125 pp.

The publication, a short film and a collection of historical documents are available here.

Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal