IASC was founded in 1990 by representatives of national scientific organizations of the eight Arctic countries - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia (at that time Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Sweden and the United States of America. The Founding Articles of IASC were signed in Resolute Bay, Canada
Over the years, IASC has evolved into the leading international science organization of the North and its membership today includes 23 countries involved in all aspects of Arctic research, including 15 non-Arctic countries (Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK).
In the context of its 25th anniversary in 2015, IASC published a comprehensive history spanning the first planning meetings in the late 1980s until today:
Rogne, O., Rachold, V., Hacquebord, L., Corell, R. (2015) IASC after 25 year - A Quarter of a Century of International Arctic Research Cooperation. International Arctic Science Committee. 125 pp.