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Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
View our poster series as a contribution to the Sustainable Development

President’s Blog: Breaking News – ICA accepted as full ICSU member

Logo of the International Council for ScienceIt is my sincere pleasure to announce, that at her 31th General Assembly the International Council of Science (ICSU) has accepted the International Cartographic Association as a Full International Scientific Union Member.

ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. The International Council for Science (ICSU) is an international non-governmental organization devoted to international cooperation in the advancement of science. Its members are national scientific bodies and international scientific unions. It comprises 120 multi-disciplinary National Scientific Members representing 140 countries and 31 international, disciplinary Scientific Unions.

From now on ICSU has 32 International Scientific Union Members, giving Cartography through ICA a strong voice in the world of science.

Georg Gartner
President of the International Cartographic Association


Further information:

Update: As of July 2018, ICSU has become the ISC (International Science Council) through the merger with the International Social Science Council (ISSC).

President’s Blog: Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science

International Organizations like ICA have a common fundament of values and overall missions. Those values are steered and influenced by the International Council of Science (ICSU). ICSU was founded in 1931 to promote international scientific activity in the different branches of science and its application for the benefit of humanity. ICA is currently in the status of a Scientific Associate and we have taken steps to become a full scientific member.

One of the pillars of the work of ICSU is reinforcing the Universality of Science. This means, that scientists anywhere, of any age, discipline and background possess the freedom and the means to participate freely (and responsibly!) in global science.

Two related issues of concern that have recently been on the agenda of the ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) have been distributed from ICSU just recently, which I would like to share with you:

  1. ‘Muzzling’ of scientists and scientific institutions
    Freedom of expression and communication are fundamental to the furtherance of scientific inquiry for the benefit of society. A number of recent incidents in different countries suggest that both of these ‘rights’ may be at risk. In particular, there have been several cases where public sector scientists have been prevented from talking to the media on topics that fall within their expertise but where their views are not necessarily in accord with Government policies. We are seriously concerned by this trend of increased pressure on both individual scientists and academic institutions to only say what is politically acceptable.
  2. Protection of whistle-blowers
    CFRS previously argued that the self-correcting nature of science requires that policies and mechanisms be in place to protect whistle blowers. Scientists have a duty to expose fraudulent information and/or misconduct, particularly where this concerns health and environmental risks. However, this can only be expected to happen if institutions accept responsibility for protecting whistle blowers and have procedures for dealing with their allegations. There are indications that this is not always happening and that, whilst scientists are aware of cases of misconduct, including fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, from colleagues, they are very reluctant to report them.