International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences

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The International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences (ICUS) were a series of scientific conferences sponsored by the International Cultural Foundation, an organization founded by Sun Myung Moon, the founder and leader of the Unification Church. [1][2] The first conference, held in 1972, had 20 participants; while the largest conference, in Seoul, South Korea in 1982, had 808 participants from over 100 countries.[3]

Participants in one or more of the conferences included Nobel laureates John Eccles (Physiology or Medicine 1963, who chaired the 1976 conference),[2] Eugene Wigner (Physics 1963),[4] economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek,[5] ecologist Kenneth Mellanby, Frederick Seitz, pioneer of solid state physics, Ninian Smart, President of the American Academy of Religion, [6] and Holocaust theologian Richard Rubenstein,[7]

Moon believed that religion alone can not save the world, [8] and his particular belief in the importance of the unity of science and religion was reportedly a motivation for the founding of the ICUS. [9] American news media have suggested that the conferences were also an attempt to improve the often controversial Unification Church's public image.[10][11]


  1. ^ excerpt Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine. The Unification Church Studies in Contemporary Religion, Massimo Introvigne, 2000, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, ISBN 1-56085-145-7
  2. ^ a b Kety Quits Moon-Linked ICF Conference Harvard Crimson, 1976-08-10.
  3. ^ ICUS Statement of Purpose
  4. ^ Eugene Paul Wigner Papers Princeton University Library
  5. ^ Register of the Friedrich A. von Hayek Papers, 1906-1992 Online Archive of California.
  6. ^ Prophets and Protons: new religious movements and science in late twentieth-century America, Benjamin E. Zeller, NYU Press, pages 21-22
  7. ^ Richard L. Rubenstein Papers American Jewish Archives
  8. ^ Tingle, D. and Fordyce, R. 1979, Phases and Faces of the Moon: A Critical Examination of the Unification Church and its Principles, Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press ISBN 0-682-49264-7 p86-87
  9. ^ Biermans, J. 1986, The Odyssey of New Religious Movements, Persecution, Struggle, Legitimation: A Case Study of the Unification Church Lewiston, New York and Queenston, Ontario: The Edwin Melton Press ISBN 0-88946-710-2 p173
  10. ^ Church Spends Millions On Its Image Washington Post. 1984-09-17 "An estimated 5,000 scholars, including more than two dozen Nobel laureates, have accepted expense-paid trips to academic conferences around the world held by the International Conference of the Unity of Sciences (ICUS) and the Professors World Peace Academy, two offshoots of the Moon-financed International Cultural Foundation (ICF), a New York-based umbrella organization for church academic programs. This year's 13th annual ICUS conference, with the theme 'Absolute Values and The New Cultural Revolution,' was held over the Labor Day weekend at the new J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington and attracted 240 participants from 46 countries, including John Lombardi, dean of international programs at Indiana University; Claude A. Villee, a Harvard Medical School biochemist; Morton Kaplan, a University of Chicago political scientist, and Eugene P. Wigner, a Princeton University physicist and Nobel laureate who, at an ICUS conference two years ago, received a $200,000 "founder's award" from Moon."
  11. ^ Rev. Moon is sponsor of scholarly conference, St. Petersburg Times, November 12, 1977

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