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International Union of Soil Sciences
Formation1924; 100 years ago (1924)
Region served
Official language
Edoardo Costantini (Italy)
Parent organization
International Science Council

The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), founded in 1924 under the name International Society of Soil Science, is a scientific union and member of the International Science Council (ISC).

The Union has 86 national and regional member societies with about 60,000 scientists[1] in several countries and individual members in 57 countries.[citation needed] Every four years, the IUSS holds the World Congress of Soil Science.

As of January 2023, the secretariat was taken over by the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics of Italy.[2] Previously, the secreteriat was managed by Sigbert Huber, an officer of the Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt), located in Vienna.


The purpose of the IUSS is to promote all branches of soil science and its applications, to promote contacts among scientists and other persons engaged in the study and the application of soil science; to stimulate scientific research and to further the application of such research.

The IUSS is a founding partner of the International Year of Planet Earth and supports all of its activities. The IUSS has contributed to the International Year of Planet Earth's brochure "Soil – earth's living skin", which has been translated into several languages.

The IUSS publishes[3] monthly the IUSS Alert and twice a year the IUSS Bulletin. December 5 is celebrated as the World Soil Day.


The IUSS has Divisions and Commissions in the following areas:

Division 1 – Soils in space and time

Division 2 – Soil properties and processes

Division 3 – Soil use and management

Division 4 – The role of soil in sustaining society and the environment

This structure and the Commissions have grown from the original six Commissions established in 1924.

In addition, the IUSS holds many Working Groups.[4] Every Working Group is associated to a Commission.


Until 2014, the IUSS President was designated by the national soil science society that was responsible for the next World Congress of Soil Science. This was normally a four-year period. The change in office was immediately after closing the World Congress. However, many tasks of scientific leadership were done by a Secretary-General. The last IUSS President according to this regulation was Jae Yang, who acted from the closure of the World Congress 2010 till the closure of the World Congress 2014.

Since 2014, the IUSS President is elected by the IUSS Council for a two-year period. Since 2017, the change in office is January 1. The election is more than two years in advance. The IUSS President is the scientific leader, and the Secretary (instead of the former Secretary-General) is the organizing leader. The first IUSS President according to the new regulation was Rainer Horn, who acted from the closure (June 13) of the World Congress 2014 till December 31, 2016.

Congresses and Presidents

World Congresses of Soil Science and IUSS Presidents[5]

Nr Congress Location President
24. 2030 Toronto  Canada
23. 2026 Nanjing  China 2025–2026 Victor Okechukwu Chude  Nigeria
2023-2024 Edoardo A.C. Costantini  Italy
22. 2022 Glasgow  United Kingdom 2021–2022 Laura Bertha Reyes Sánchez  Mexico
2019–2020 Takashi Kosaki  Japan
21. 2018 Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 2017–2018 Rattan Lal  United States
20. 2014 Jeju-do Island  South Korea 2014–2016 Rainer Horn  Germany
19. 2010 Brisbane, Queensland  Australia 2010–2014 Jae Yang  South Korea
18. 2006 Philadelphia  United States 2006–2010 R.S. Swift  Australia
17. 2002 Bangkok  Thailand 2002–2006 D. L. Sparks  United States
16. 1998 Montpellier  France 1998–2002 S. Theerawong  Thailand
15. 1994 Acapulco  Mexico 1994–1998 A. Ruellan  France
14. 1990 Kyoto  Japan 1990–1994 A.A. Santelises  Mexico
13. 1986 Hamburg  West Germany 1986–1990 A. Tanaka  Japan
12. 1982 New Delhi  India 1982–1986 K.H. Hartge  West Germany
11. 1978 Alberta  Canada 1978–1982 J.S. Kanwar  India
10. 1974 Moscow  Soviet Union 1974–1978 C.F. Bentley  Canada
9. 1968 Adelaide  Australia 1968–1974 V.A. Kovda [ru]  Soviet Union
8. 1964 Bucharest  Romania 1964–1968 E.G. Hallsworth  Australia
7. 1960 Madison, Wisconsin  United States 1960–1964 N.C. Cernescu  Romania
6. 1956 Paris  France 1956–1960 R. Bradfield  United States
5. 1954 Kinshasa (Leopoldville) Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo 1954–1956 A. Oudin  France
4. 1950 Amsterdam  Netherlands 1950–1954 R. Tavernier  Belgium
x 1950 C.H. Edelman  Netherlands
3. 1935 Oxford  England
2. 1930 Leningrad  Soviet Union 1930–1935 J. Russell  United Kingdom
1. 1927 Washington, D.C.  United States 1927–1930 K. Gedroiz  Soviet Union
Fd. 1924 Rome  Italy 1924–1927 J. G. Lipman  United States

See also


  1. ^ "OSU professor receives top ag award". 8 November 2018.
  2. ^ "IUSS Alert 210 (December 2022)". Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  3. ^ "IUSS Publications".
  4. ^ "List of the IUSS working groups".
  5. ^ IUSS Past Presidents Archived 2019-05-17 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 02/06/2015.