“There has been a growing national and international interest in the Arctic, stimulated by the recognition of the scientific and political importance as well as its economical potential.”1
These words spoken at the founding of the International Arctic Science Committee are as timely today as they were in 1990. Political changes in East-West relations starting, around 1985, made a dialogue about the creation of a circumarctic science organization possible. A series of meetings with stakeholders in Arctic science culminated in 1990 with the signing of the Founding Articles establishing IASC.
The founding partners from the eight Arctic countries underscored the increasing need for scientific knowledge of the Arctic region. “This is required for the wise development and management of that region and to ensure that Arctic research contributes fully to world science for the benefit of all mankind.”2
The terms of the Founding Articles were deceptively simple; but agreement to them by national scientific organizations of each of the eight arctic countries was a milestone. For the first time in history the scientific community had an international organization covering all sciences and all the Arctic.
To learn more about IASC’s early days you can download the IASC handbook. The handbook includes the Founding Articles and the official signing by the eight arctic founding organizations.