URSI: The International Scientific Radio Union


  • Samuel Silver


The International Scientific Radio Union,1 better known as URSI (an abbreviation derived from the French name, Union Radio Scientifique Internationale), is one of the oldest of the family of scientific unions comprising the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). The Union was founded in 1913 under the title ‘International Commission of Scientific Wireless Telegraphy,’ and it celebrated its golden jubilee in 1963 in conjunction with a general assembly held in Tokyo. The history of the Union, and the development of its commissions, and programs, and worldwide services, was recorded in the URSI Golden Jubilee Memorial volume published by the URSI Secretariat in 1963. The aims of the Union as stated by the late J. H. Dellinger in his history of the URSI in the Jubilee Memorial are2:

1. To promote international cooperation in the scientific study of radio.

2. To encourage and aid in the organization of radio research requiring cooperation on a large scale.

3. To promote the establishment and use of common methods and standards of measurement.

4. To encourage and aid the discussion and dissemination of the results of these activities.