The International Commission of the History of Oceanography (ICHO) 

  • We are an international community of historians and others interested in the history of the ocean sciences, aquatic environments, and their technologies.  
  • We recognize that knowledge of the ocean is critically important in the world today, and we contribute expertise in understanding how knowledge about the ocean is created and used.  
  • We aim to make our knowledge and resources available to those interested and involved in the ocean’s past, present, and future. 


We hope to contribute to UNESCO’s Ocean Literacy goals by raising awareness of historical changes and cultural differences in ways people have known and used the ocean.

The International Commission of the History of Oceanography (ICHO) is a global body devoted to linking scholars, writers, and teachers interested in the history of the marine sciences, broadly defined.  Its structure is a bit complicated:  it is part of the Division of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, which is itself a component of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science, which in turn is part of the non-governmental international scientific body, the International Science Council. Our group, ICHO, was born during the 1968 International Congress on the History of Science (held in Paris). The first president was the French historian of science and medicine Professor Jean Theodorides (following his service, he was named the first President Emeritus of ICHO, a title he held until his death in 1999).

Although ICHO has had its own international congresses, it also meets in conjunction with its parent organization during the international congresses on the history of science, technology, and medicine.

The current slate of officers can be found here.