About ISCE

What is the ISCE?

Following the charge presented at the January 1983 Ventura, California, Gordon Research Conference, Lincoln P. Brower, Jean H. Langenheim, Michael M. Martin, Gerald A. Rosenthal, Robert M. Silverstein, and John B. Simeone met in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 12-14, 1983 to formulate policy and draft a preliminary constitution for a new society of chemical ecology.

Subsequently, the International Society of Chemical Ecology, Inc. (ISCE) was incorporated on 12 September 1983 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, USA, and received recognition as a Tax Exempt Scientific and Educational Society in June, 1984. The ISCE Constitution was approved at the first Annual Meeting of the ISCE in Austin, Texas, on 10 June 1984. The ISCE is administered by a Council of 15 members and an Executive Committee which includes the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Past-President and a Representative of the Journal of Chemical Ecology.

According to Article II of its bylaws, the ISCE “is organized exclusively for scientific purposes, more specifically to promote the understanding of interactions between organisms and their environment that are mediated by naturally occurring chemicals. Research areas include the chemistry, biochemistry and function of natural products, their importance at all levels of ecological organization, their evolutionary origin and their practical application”.

The ISCE forms a nucleus for worldwide interdisciplinary cooperation between biologists and chemists. Its membership directory currently lists over 450 active members from 45 countries.

What is Chemical Ecology?

Chemical ecology came to be recognized as a distinct interdisciplinary research area about three decades ago. It deals with the intriguing chemical mechanisms which help control intra- and interspecific interactions among living beings. All organisms use chemical signals to transmit information; “chemical languages” are the oldest forms of communication. Research in the field of chemical ecology is concerned with the identification and synthesis of the substances which carry information, with the elucidation of receptor and transduction systems which recognize and pass on these “semiochemicals”, and with the developmental, behavioral, and ecological consequences of chemical signals.

The Journal of Chemical Ecology

The Journal of Chemical Ecology, edited by John Romeo (Chief Editor), Jeffrey Aldrich, Stephen P. Foster, Ann E. Hagerman, Monika Hilker, and Richard Newcomb (Associate Editors), is the official “voice” of the ISCE. This monthly journal publishes about 250 research papers annually. It is available to ISCE members at a discount which exceeds the membership dues.

ISCE Newsletters

ISCE Newsletters, sent to all ISCE members three times a year, provide news about the Society’s activities and offer a useful channel for the exchange of information among chemical ecologists.

ISCE Annual Meeting

ISCE Annual Meetings, held in countries across the world, provide an international forum for lectures, workshops, and discussions. Participants come from academic institutions and industry worldwide

Student Award Committee

ISCE’s Student Award Committee provides financial aid to outstanding young scientists to help them to attend annual meetings. In addition, the ISCE is collecting funds to establish a Fellowship Program whose aim is to support young investigators in their pursuit of field and laboratory research in chemical ecology.

During its first two decades, the ISCE has received generous financial support from over 30 pharmaceutical and chemical companies. Industrial awareness of and concern for ecological problems, environmental maintenance, and the need to conserve biological diversity is now growing rapidly. The ISCE is the first scientific society devoted to the discipline of chemical ecology and the continued and expanded support of the ISCE by the world’s industrial leaders will play an essential role in studying, preserving and using the earth’s immense biological resources for sustainable human benefit.

The Göteborg Resolution

At the 6th Annual Meeting of the ISCE in Göteborg, Sweden, the assembled membership unanimously adopted the principles embodied in the following resolution*:

Natural products constitute a treasury of immense value to humankind. The current alarming rate of species extinction is rapidly depleting this treasury with potentially disastrous consequences. The International Society of Chemical Ecology urges that conservation measures be mounted worldwide to stem the tide of species extinction, and that vastly increased biorational studies be undertaken aimed at discovering new chemicals of use to medicine, agriculture and industry. These exploratory efforts should be pursued by a partnership of developing and developed nations in such fashion that the financial benefits flow in fair measure to all participants.

*Journal of Chemical Ecology 16 (1990) 643.