Freedoms & Responsibilities of Scientists
The International Council for Science promotes the Universality of Science on the basis that science is a common human endeavour that transcends national boundaries and is to be shared by all people. Scientific progress results from global exchange of ideas, data, materials and understanding of the work of others.
- Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
- Future Earth
- Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR)
- Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)
- Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)
- Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)
- Urban Health & Wellbeing
- World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)
On that basis, the Council focuses on three overlapping aspects of universality:
- freedom and responsibility in the conduct of science;
- access to scientific data and information; and,
- strengthening science in developing countries.
The first element is the subject of ICSU Statute 5, the Principle of Universality (Freedom and Responsibility) of Science. The guardian of this principle is the policy advisory Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS).
Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science
The Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) serves as the guardian of the ICSU Principle of Universality of Science, which is enshrined in Statute 5 and adherence to which is a condition for ICSU Membership. Its mission is to raise international awareness for and promote freedom and responsibility aspects related to the conduct of science. It does this by issuing advisory material, organising scientific meetings and by considering cases of individual scientists whose human rights are infringed.
Committee meeting proceedings are available in meeting reports. In its work, the Committee is guided by the Terms of Reference and a work plan approved by the ICSU Membership.
- 1963: Standing Committee on the Free Circulation of Scientists (SCFCS) established
- 1993: renamed to Standing Committee on Freedom in the Conduct of Science, retaining the acronym SCFCS
- 1996: Standing Committee on Ethics and Responsibility in Science (SCRES) established
- 2006: Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) established as a merger of SCFCS and SCRES, following a strategic ICSU review
See also the short history of CFRS and its predecessor organisations, written by the former Committee Secretary Peter Schindler in 2009: