European Science Foundation

1976 (Strasbourg)
Parallel forms of name

Fondation Européenne de la Science

Name according to other Rules
ESF
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Historical Notes

The European Science Foundation was created on 18-19/11/1974 in Strasbourg as a scientific body aiming to coordinate the work of Europe’s main research funding and performing organisations. It is independent from intergovernmental collaboration.
The Swedish Natural Science Research Council Committee of West European Science Research Councils (ESRC), composed of Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish Research Councils, organised, in collaboration with the British Royal Society, in February 1972 in Aarhus a conference which provided the decisive impulse for the creation of the ESF. In September 1973 the conference organised in Gif-sur-Yvette, attended by representatives of sixteen European scientific research councils and institutions (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia), the European Commission, as well as the Council of Europe and the OECD, set up an ESF Founding Committee under the leadership of Hubert Curien. It drew up the statutes and selected the seat of the Foundation. The Foundation’s Statute was adopted during a conference held in November 1974 in Strasbourg and attended by the 16 national groups as well as the Commission of the European Communities, the Council of Europe and the OECD. The plenary conference turned into the first General Assembly of the ESF; Sir Brian Flowers was unanimously appointed Chairman, Olivier Reverdin and Poul Riis vice-chairmen and Friedrich Schneider Secretary-General.
The ESF, with its seat in Strasbourg, is an international non-governmental non-profit association of organisations devoted to the promotion of basic research in science intended in the continental European sense.
All member organizations contribute to the budget of the Foundation according to a scale based on the net national incomes of the countries to which the member organizations belong. Its scope includes the humanities, jurisprudence, social sciences, economics, natural, medical and technical sciences. Set out in the ESF Statute, its principal objects are to advance cooperation in basic research, to promote mobility of research workers, to assist the free flow of information and ideas and to facilitate the harmonisation of the basic research activities supported by member organizations. Further objects are to facilitate cooperation in the use of existing facilities, to facilitate cooperation in assessing and executing appropriate projects of major importance, to facilitate cooperation in the provision of expensive specialised services and to make grants for the support of concerted actions and collaborative schemes. The different organs of the ESF are the Assembly, the Electoral Commission, the Executive Council, the President and the Secretary-General. The principal organ of the Foundation is the Assembly, which meets at least once a year. It is composed of representatives appointed by each member organisation of the Foundation and by the Governing bodies.
As of November 1978, the ESF comprised 43 member organizations from the 16 ESF founding countries.

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