The first meeting of the newly elected IAP Executive Committee (EC)1 took place in Trieste, 27-28 February 2007. We were pleased to welcome both newly elected members for 2007-2009 and members continuing their second term. The meeting was hosted by TWAS – the academy of sciences for the developing world. Much of the agenda and discussion concentrated on the implementation of recommendations in the IAP strategic plan, approved by the General Assembly in December 2006 in Alexandria.
Members agreed to establish five subcommittees: membership; programmes and strategic planning; fundraising and finance; review and evaluation; and publications and public relations. We are delighted to report that IAP members responded enthusiastically to our invitation to nominate committee members. The chairs and members of each committee are now busily at work on terms of reference and working procedures.
The programmes and strategic planning committee has prepared criteria and guidelines and IAP has issued a call for new proposals in line with the funding mechanisms that have been adopted. The submission date for new proposals is 31 May 2007. This will enable the peer-review process to take place before the next EC meeting. The EC will decide which proposals will be granted funding. We would very much like to see proposals submitted by IAP's affiliated regional networks of academies of science and/or by groups of IAP academies with a strong geographical balance.
The financial plan and budget for 2007 was discussed and approved. EC members agreed that current IAP programmes and initiatives should continue through 2007. We suggest that lead academies produce tool kits and/or information packages outlining the results of their activities over the past three years for wider dissemination. Looking ahead, the new committee for finance and fundraising will be identifying ways to supplement funds currently received from the Italian government.
Finally, we are pleased to report that the first IAP/IAC (InterAcademy Council) joint meeting took place in London in March 2007 following a decision to increase dialogue with IAC. At its meeting in January, the IAC Board created a task force to identify increased opportunities of cooperation between the two organizations. We will soon report on proposals for collaborative activities.
We very much look forward to working with you in 2007 and welcome your proposals for future IAP activities, which should be submitted by the 31 May 2007 deadline.
Chen Zhu and Howard Alper
1 Current EC members, in addition to Co-Chairs: Australian Academy of Science, Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Cuban Academy of Sciences, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt, Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, Science Council of Japan, Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal, The Royal Society, UK
25-26 September 2007: IAP Executive Committee Meeting, Canberra, Australia
IAP Programmes and Initiatives
Capacity Building. Representatives of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) visited the Royal Society (RS) in London from 9-13 October 2006. The visit, featuring meetings with RS staff, provided a first-hand perspective on Society activities. NASAC representatives also held meetings with UK government officials and staff, the scientific community and stakeholders. NASAC representatives have previously visited the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006) and the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (2001). For additional information, see: www.interacademies.net/?id=3485.
Science Education. Several initiatives are scheduled to take place in Africa in 2007, including a course, 'Training the Trainers on IBSE' (Inquiry-Based Science Education), organized by NASAC in Nairobi, 23-26 April, and a seminar, 'Best Practices in Science Education in Francophone Countries', organized by the Cameroon Academy of Sciences in Yaounde, in September. A focal point meeting of NASAC academies will also take place in Lagos, organized by the Nigerian Academy of Sciences. For details, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Research and Management. The Brazilian Academy of Sciences is holding a meeting in Trieste, 29-31 May, to evaluate the results of regional workshops organized by IAP members in 2006 in China (June), Brazil (July), South Africa (August), Poland (September), and in 2007 in Jordan (March). The meeting is designed to help advance the programme’s plan of action for 2007-2008. For additional information, contact: email@example.com.
Access to Scientific Information. A planning meeting will take place 16 May in Tshwane, South Africa, on 'Promoting Access To and Use of Digital Knowledge Resources In Countries With Developing and Transitional Economies: Role Of Science Academies In Africa'. The meeting, which is being organized by the Academy of Science of South Africa and NAS, will review this IAP initiative and develop an agenda for future activities. For information, contact: PUhlir@nas.edu. Presentations of the Dakar workshop, held in January 2006, are now available on the IAP website: www.interacademies.net/?id=7431.
Indian National Science Academy (INSA) publishes a monthly science education journal, Resonance. The journal is designed for undergraduate university students and teachers. The IAP statement on the teaching of evolution was featured in its November 2006 edition. See www.ias.ac.in/resonance.
National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka hosted the biennial conference of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, 4-7 April, in Colombo. For additional information, contact: CCorillo@nas.edu
Academy of Athens, in collaboration with ALLEA and UNESCO, is organizing the 2nd international symposium: 'Science, Technology and Human Values' in Athens, 2-4 May. See: www.academyofathens.gr/ecPage.asp?id=596&nt=18&lang=2.
Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters celebrates its 150th anniversary in Oslo on 3 May. For additional information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science Council of Japan and the Pacific Science Association are co-organizing the 21st Pacific Science Congress, 'Diversity and Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Managing Natural and Social Systems in Asia-Pacific', 13-17 June, in Okinawa. For additional information, see: www.psc21.net/papers.html.
The latest edition of TWAS Newsletter (vol 18, no 4) features extensive coverage of the IAP 2006 Conference, 'The Unity of Science', and General Assembly. IAP members will receive print copies.
News from observers...
NASAC's joint statement, 'Building Science, Technology and Innovative Capacities in Africa', was submitted to the African science ministers and heads of states and governments at the 8th African Union Summit, 22-30 January 2007, in Addis Ababa.
IANAS is holding a conference, 'Strengthening S&T in the Americas: A Tool for Development, Social Inclusion and Democracy', 7-9 June, on Margarita Island, Venezuela. Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela is hosting the event. The Caribbean Scientific Union will hold its annual meeting at the same location on 6 June. For additional information, contact: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
AASA's board meeting will be held 24-28 August in Irkutsk-Listvyanka, Russia, in conjunction with an international symposium, 'Environmental and Climate Change and Biodiversity in East Eurasia and Adjacent Areas'. The Russian Academy of Sciences will host the event. AASA is also organizing a joint conference with FASAS on 'Science Education', 27-28 November, in Bangkok. Details of the events will be posted at www.aasanet.org.
New email/url addresses:
Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Korea: email@example.com
Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia: www.aciencias.org.bo
- Jules Hoffmann has been elected president of Académie des Sciences, France, replacing Edouard Brézin. Jean Salençon has been elected vice-president.
- Letitia Obeng has been elected president of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, replacing S.K.V. Asante. Y. Ahenkorah has been elected vice president for science.
- Michal Kleiber has been elected president of the Polish Academy of Sciences, replacing Andrzej B. Legocki. Andrzej Gorski, Karol Modzelewski and Wojciech J. Stec have been elected vice presidents.
- Jinghai Li has been elected president of the Association of Academies of Sciences in Asia (AASA). He replaces Ruth Arnon.
Chen Zhu, China
tel: +86 10 6859-7246; fax: +86 10 6851-1095
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Howard Alper, Canada
tel: +1 613 991 9005; fax: +1 613 991 6996
M.H.A. Hassan (TWAS Executive Director)
tel: +39 040 2240-680; fax: +39 040 2240-688
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.interacademies.net
D. Schaffer (TWAS/IAP Editor)