Issue 31

IAP has been busy this autumn. The Executive Committee (EC) meeting, generously hosted by the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (RSC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), took place in Ottawa on 8-9 September 2008.

Following a call for proposals to member academies, the EC grouped submissions into five themes: capacity building (4 applications); medical, agriculture and food sciences (3); water, earth and environmental sciences (9); science education (10); and ‘others' (6). Based on a peer-review process, funds for 2009 have been allocated to new and exciting programmes. Please see www.interacademies.net for additional information. IAP membership reached 100 in September. The newest members are the Kosovo Academy of Sciences and rts and The Korean Academy of Science and Technology. We warmly welcome both academies to IAP.

IAP and the World Economic Forum (WEF) partnered in a pilot project in Tianjin, China, 26-28 September 2008, at the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions, which is also known as “Summer Davos”. More than 40 young scientists, nominated by IAP members, met other young ‘champions' – individuals younger than 40 – in fields related to business, politics and technology. The meeting provided a unique opportunity for tomorrow's leaders to exchange ideas both with one another and more experienced professionals. IAP organized two sessions: 'Managing Science for a Better World' and 'The Role of Frontier Science in Shaping Society'. The EC has agreed to provide US$50,000 to fund 5 proposals submitted by young scientists in collaboration with WEF global leaders and technology entrepreneurs. More detailed information about the meeting, including the text of an article published in Science, and a statement by the young scientists, is available on the IAP website.

Discussions are now underway to organize the second IAP Young Scientists Conference at the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, 10-12 September 2009.

IAP celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2008. To commemorate this milestone, IAP has distributed a publication containing all IAP Statements issued since the organization's inception. The publication can be downloaded from the IAP website. Print copies are available from the IAP Secretariat.

More than 50 IAP members have responded thus far to a survey circulated earlier this year to gather information about academies and their roles in society. IAP's Membership Committee will be examining the information and plans to provide an in-depth analysis of its findings in early 2009.

We extend a special thanks to all of our members for their active participation, most notably for submitting proposals, nominating young scientists, responding to our surveys and promoting IAP activities.

Chen Zhu and Howard Alper
IAP Co-Chairs

Calendar 2009/2010

  • 12-13 February 2009: Workshop on "Strengthening academies through best practices in assessments and fellowship appointments”, Trieste (see below for details)
  • 24-25 March 2009: EC Meeting, including a joint meeting with the IAC Board, Amsterdam
  • 15-16 September 2009: EC Meeting, Tokyo
  • 12-15 January 2010: IAP Conference and General Assembly, London

IAP Programmes

Capacity Building: IAP Member Academies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) were invited to participate in a workshop, 'The Role of Academies in the 21st Century', at the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences, Podgorica, 9-12 October. The meeting was a follow-up to a CEE network meeting held earlier this year in Sofia. Milo Djukanovic, President of Montenegro, gave the opening address. For more information, contact: katarinat@cg.ac.yu.

Water Research and Management: The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Water Research Commission (WRC) hosted an African Hydrology and Hydropower Training Workshop, 18-20 June 2008. For more information, contact: mcbs@abc.org.br.

Notice Board

The Council of Canadian Academies, in collaboration with IAP, will organize a workshop on 'Strengthening academies through best practices in fellowship appointment procedures and the expert panel assessment process', 12-13 February 2009. The workshop will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and to develop best practices on the assessments and processes used to elect fellows to national academies. For more information, contact: christina.stachulak@scienceadvice.ca.

The Indian National Science Academy coorganized the 2nd World Aqua Congress in New Delhi, 26-28 November 2008, to discuss the relationship between global climate change and water resources. For more information, see: www.worldaquacongress.org.

The Polish Academy of Sciences organized an international symposium, 'The Past, Present and Future of the Impact Factor and Other Tools of Scientometrics', in Warsaw, 26 September 2008. Participants included scientists, medical doctors and science administrators. For more information, see www.pan.pl or contact impactfactor@pan.pl.

The Kavli Prizes, a joint venture of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Kavli Foundation and Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, were awarded for the first time in September 2008. Seven of the world's most prominent scientists in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience were honoured in the presence of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. The award carries a cash prize of US$1 million in each scientific area. For more information, see: www.kavliprize.no.

The science academies of the G8 countries and China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa issued statements to the G8 urging world leaders to take action on two pressing global challenges: climate change and global health. Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan, received copies of the statements from Ichiro Kanazawa, President of the Science Council of Japan, prior to the G8 Summit in Hoikkaido in July 2008. For more information, see www.scj.go.jp/en/. NASAC, IANAS and the Science Council of Asia also released a joint statement on the role of science, technology and innovation in promoting global development. For information, see www.interacademies.net/?id=3485.

Akademi Sains Malaysia held a conference, 'Biodiversity and National Development: Achievements, Opportunities and Challenges', 28-30 May 2008. The conference examined biodiversity's contributions to national development. It also identified opportunities and challenges for the sustainable use of biodiversity. For more information, contact: azaidee@mmcogel.com.my.

News from Observers...

The AASA General Assembly, hosted by the Turkish Academy of Sciences, was held 15-17 October 2008 in Ankara. The agenda focused on cooperation between AASA and FASAS. FASAS also held its Council Meeting and 2nd Science Education Conference in Asia and Pacific. For information, see www.aasa-net.org and www.fasas.com.my.

The ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA), in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF), will organize an international workshop on Global Environmental Change in sub-Saharan Africa in Pretoria, 9-11 February 2009. For more information, contact: b.mahlalela@icsu-africa.org

From the Secretariat ...

An online call for proposals for IAP funding in 2010 will soon be issued. IAP members and regional networks will be notified when forms are available.

Networking ...

The National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic - new email address: interdep_nas@mail.ru.


  • Tan Sri Datuk Yusof Basiron has been appointed president of Akademi Sains Malaysia. He replaces Zaharudin Idrus Ahmad.
  • Robbert Dijkgraaf has been appointed president of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He replaces Frits P.van Oostrom.
  • József Pálinkás has been appointed president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He replaces Szilveszter E. Vizi.
  • Sang Joo Kim has been elected president of the National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Korea. He succeeds Tae Kil Kim.
  • Tarek Hussein has been appointed president of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), Egypt. Ashraf Shaalan has been elected vice president.
  • Sunethra Atukorala has been appointed president of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka, replacing Arjuna Aluwihare.
  • Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez has been appointed president of the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias. She replaces Juan Pedro Laclette.
  • Yucel Kanpolat has been appointed president of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. He replaces Engin Bermek.
  • Eduardo Charreau has been appointed president of the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina, succeeding A. Arvia.


Chen Zhu, China
tel: +86 10 6859-7246; fax: +86 10 6851-1095
email: zywang@cashq.ac.cn
Howard Alper, Canada
tel: +1 613 991 9005; fax: +1 613 991 6996
email: Howard.alper@uottawa.ca

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
email: iap@twas.org
M. Kareithi (IAP Project Assistant) - email: kareithi@twas.org
D. Schaffer (media) - email: schaffer@twas.org