IGY, International Geophysical Year

From July 1957 to December 1958 an international cooperative scientific program was conducted to study the earth and its environment. This program was called the International Geophysical Year. More than 70 countries participated in the project which led to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts, the theory of plate tectonics, exploration of outer space, construction of earth satellites, and increased research in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. IGY was sponsored by the International Council of Scientific Unions and involved nearly 30,000 scientists. In a radio and television address on June 30, 1957, President Eisenhower expressed his belief that "the most important result of the International Geophysical Year is that demonstration of the ability of peoples of all nations to work together harmoniously for the common good. I hope this can become common practice in other fields of human endeavor."

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