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International Geophysical Year (IGY)

THE INTERNATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL Year (IGY), in French, Année Géophysique Internationale, took place between July 1, 1957 and December 31, 1958. The International Council for Science (ICSU) began designing it in 1952. The ICSU addresses global issues through international initiatives aimed to support scientists. A successful example of these initiatives, besides the International Geophysical Year, is the International Biological Program, which took place 1964–74. The International Geophysical Year was inspired by National Academy of Sciences (NAS) member Lloyd Berkner and colleagues in 1950. It was modeled after previous International Polar Years, 1882–83 and 1932–33.

The IGY was to invite and allow all scientists to collaborate internationally in organized geophysical examinations. It would take place during peak solar activity, 1957–58. Initially, 46 nations pledged to send representatives; ...

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