As a model of cooperation in the solution of global geophysical problems the International Magnetospheric Study (IMS) has set a standard at the highest level. The data collection phase of the IMS, 1976–1979, involved about 50 nations; over 1000 experiments which used satellites, rockets, balloons, and ground bases; and engaged over 10,000 scientists. The magnetosphere is such a huge object that only the combined efforts of many nations can be expected to solve its complexities in a reasonable period of time.
Many regional symposia on IMS results have been held during the last few years. The first major one was held at La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia from November 27 to December 1, 1979. The meeting was cosponsored by the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (Scostep) and the International Association on Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (LAGA) and was held as part of the 17th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. Attendees from over 20 countries heard 126 papers from 270 authors on the results acquired so far from IMS experiments.