In partnership with the InterAcademy Panel, the Council of Canadian Academies furthered its dedication to international collaboration, bringing together participants from around the world for a workshop on Best Practices in Advisory Roles and Fellowship Appointments. The workshop was held at the offices of the IAP secretariat in Trieste, Italy on 12-13 February 2009, and was attended by 60 participants from 43 countries representing five continents.
This event was inspired by a collective desire to provide a forum for academies to discuss, share successes and challenges, and look for opportunities for mutually beneficial international collaborations on issues such as engaging decision makers through advisory processes, performing science-based assessments, the fellowship appointment process and outreach to society.
This first workshop was a success. A number of exciting initiatives were shared, ranging from the creation of a Young Academy (The Netherlands), to science education programmes for school children (Chile and Australia), to MP-scientist pairing schemes with the UK and European Parliaments, and to Bacon and Eggheads presentations in the Parliament of Canada. The workshop and associated informal networking opportunities provided many opportunities for joint working and more-focused topics for future international discussions. It also offered participants the first look at a comprehensive membership survey, the first to be carried out in a decade. Thus far, 59 member academies have responded. We anticipate more members will return the questionnaire in the near future.
Science academies, all participants agreed, should play a vital role in their societies. By emphasizing excellence and transparency, and by highlighting the crucial role that science plays in sustainable development, the influence of science academies is bound to increase in the years ahead. As the Co-chairs of IAP, we look forward to working with all members to help ensure that our organization reaches its full potential for the benefit of both science and society. The final report is available on the IAP website.
Chen Zhu and Howard Alper
- 24-25 March 2009: EC Meeting, including joint session with the IAC Board, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 10-12 September 2009: IAP Young Scientists Conference in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, Dalian, China
- 15-16 September 2009: EC Meeting, Tokyo, Japan
- 11-15 January 2010: IAP Conference and General Assembly, London, UK
New initiatives for the Science Education programme include Primary Connections – Linking Science with Literacy – led by the Australian Academy of Science; and Science Education for Rural Children through ICT – led by the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka. For more information, see: www.interacademies.net/CMS/Programmes.aspx
The following joint regional workshops have taken place in 2008 as a follow-up to the recommendations of the IAC report, Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future:
- IANAS Workshop on Energy, hosted by the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina, Buenos Aires, 30-31 October 2008.
- AASA Workshop on Sustainable Energy Development in Asia, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 16-17 November 2008.
The workshop reports area available at: www.interacademies.net/CMS/Programmes.aspx
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei organized a discussion meeting of the G8+5 academies of sciences in Rome, 26–27 March 2009, as a run-up to the G8 Summit hosted by Italy in summer 2009.
Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), Egypt, held a conference inaugurating the Center of Nuclear Sciences and its Peaceful Applications. The conference, which took place in Cairo, on 15 March 2009, included participants from the Mediterranean and Arab regions. It focused on such issues as nuclear physics, engineering, safety and simulation. For more information, see: www.nspa.cu.edu.eg.
A TWAS-NPG (Nature Publishing Group) Supplement, A World of Science in the Developing World, was published in November 2008 in conjunction with TWAS’s 25th anniversary. The supplement, which examines critical issues in science in the South, can be downloaded from www.nature.com/twas/. For print copies, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS) has published the conference report of the 4th Annual Regional Workshop celebrating Scientific Revival Day of Africa. Copies are available from: email@example.com.
Nigerian Academy of Sciences published a report, “Blood Safety in Nigeria”. This is the first report of Nigeria’s Forum on Evidence-Based Health Policymaking. For copies, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Royal Society, UK has issued a report on Ground Level Ozone, examining ozone’s impact on human health, food production, and the environment. Copies are available from: royalsociety.org/document.asp?tip=0&id=8039.
Sudanese National Academy of Science organized a conference for young scientists at the Institute of Endemic Diseases in Omdurman, Sudan, 17-18 January 2009 in collaboration with SAYS (The Sudanese Academy of Young Scientists). For more information, see: says.9f.com.
Palestine Academy for Science and Technology and the Palestinian Water Authority will hold the 2nd International Conference on Water: Values and Rights in Ramallah, Palestine, April 13-15, 2009. For information, contact: email@example.com, or see: www.waterrightsconference.org/
News from Observers...
The International Council for Science (ICSU) will serve as one of the sponsors of the first World Social Science Forum, One Planet – Worlds Apart? organized by the International Social Science Council (ISSC). The event will take place in Bergen, Norway, 10-12 May 2009. For more information, see: www.rokkan.uib.no/wssf/index.xpl.
News from the Secretariat ...
- Oye Ididapo-Obe has been appointed president of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences. He replaces David Okali.
- Gudar Beqiraj has been elected president of the Albanian Academy of Sciences. He succeeds Ylli Popa.
- Maria del Carmen Samayoa has been re-elected president of Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala.
- Dominique Willems has been elected president of The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium. He replaces Madeleine Tyssens. Marc Richelle has been appointed vice president.
- Robin Crewe has been re-elected president of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Jonathan Jansen and Patricia Berjak have been re-elected vice presidents.
- Reginald Fraser Amonoo has been elected president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. He replaces Letitia Obeng.
- BooÅidar Matic has been re-elected president of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Slobodan Loga and Branislava Perunicic have been elected vice presidents.
Chen Zhu, China
tel: +86 10 6859-7246; fax: +86 10 6851-1095
Howard Alper, Canada
tel: +1 613 991 9005; fax: +1 613 991 6996
M.H.A. Hassan (TWAS Executive Director)
J.C.R. Lacey (IAP Senior Project Assistant)
tel: +39 040 2240-680/681; fax: +39 040 2240-688
M. Kareithi (IAP Project Assistant) - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
D. Schaffer (media) - email: email@example.com