The International Committee on Bionomenclature (ICB) was created in 1995 by joint decision of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) to explore ways and means to harmonise the various sets of international rules governing the creation and use of scientific names of organisms.

It is an international scientific, non-commercial membership association of unlimited duration, affiliated with its Founding Unions and reporting to their General Assemblies and Congresses.

As information on the world’s biota becomes increasingly integrated across different groups of organisms, from bacteria and fungi to animals and plants, there is a concomitant rising need for a consistent and harmonized approach to the regulation of scientific names. The BioCode initiative represents a concerted effort, by biologists intimately involved in the operation of the current system of separate codes, to devise a unified approach to the future naming of organisms of all kinds. This need has become pressing in view of common issues that the separate organismal codes now have to address, consequent on the rapid changes taking place in global informatics, database architecture, molecular systematics and ecology, and electronic publication.

The International Committee on Bionomenclature 

Chair: Ellinor Michel (; Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.

Vice-Chair: Brian Tindall (; Leibniz-Institut DSMZ, Inhoffenstrasse 7b, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.

Secretary: Wolf-Henning Kusber (; Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, 14195 Berlin, Germany.



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