The International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry (IAGC) was formally founded on 8 May, 1967. Prior to that time, the organization of international geochemical affairs was largely carried out through the Inorganic Chemistry section of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) starting in 1960. It was at the twenty-first International Geological Congress (IGC) at Copenhagen in 1960 when the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) was formally established and geochemists formed a close bond with the world geological community. Earl Ingerson, as Chairman or Secretary to three of the then existing international geochemical organizations, coordinated a meeting of members of the committees on geochemistry of the IGC, IUGG, and IUPAC in New Delhi in 1964, but was himself unable to attend. This meeting, chaired by Ken Sugawara, drew up draft statutes and nominated temporary officers. As a result, Earl Ingerson called a meeting in Paris in November 1965 to name the association, complete the statutes, elect temporary officers and apply to the IUGS for immediate affiliation. The first Council meeting was held on 8 May, 1967 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, presided over by Earl Ingerson.

Until 2000, the Association's governing body was the General Assembly, which met during each IGC. The main internal financial support was provided by National Members who voted at the General Assembly with some additional outside funding from UNESCO and IUGS. Day-to-day operations between each General Assembly were carried out by a Council of five officers and eight Council members.

During its existence, IAGC has, through its various working groups and members, sponsored or co-sponsored numerous international meetings, which represent its main financial expenditure. Many of these meetings result from close cooperation with other associations affiliated with IUGS and IUGG, as well as various international, national, provincial and academic organizations. Proceedings of these meetings are usually published. In 1986 the IAGC launched its official journal, Applied Geochemistry.

At the General Assembly of the IAGC in Rio de Janeiro, National Memberships were terminated as it was widely felt that the IAGC was sufficiently mature and financially stable that the control and support of individual countries on the IAGC, through designated representatives (who may not have been geochemists), was redundant and potentially counter-productive. Thus, the IAGC evolved into a self-supported organization whose activities were controlled by its members, through an elected Executive and Council.

Recently, there has been a name change to reflect the focus of the IAGC on the application of the principles and analytical tools of geochemistry to solving real-world problems  (now the International Association of GeoChemistry).

For more information on the pre-2000 activities of the IAGC, download International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry: a history by Brian Hitchon as published in Applied Geochemistry Vol 1, pp 7-14, 1986.

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