Dear IAP Member Academies,
It has been a typically busy few months for IAP and its members.
In May we released our Statement ‘Realising Global Potential in Synthetic Biology: Scientific Opportunities and Good Governance’. A short review of the media visibility achieved by the statement is available here.
Of particular note, the statement was circulated at the 18th Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-18) thanks to support from The Royal Society of Canada (RSC), and distributed to participants at the International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School which took place in Taormina, Sicily. Both events took place in June 2014.
As reported in Bulletin 40, discussions are under way to establish an umbrella organization, the InterAcademy Partnership, comprising IAP, IAC and IAMP. On 7 July, the six co-chairs of these organizations met in Berlin, Germany, where preliminary documents, including a memorandum of understanding, were agreed upon and signed by the six members of the Steering Committee. In addition, Mohamed Hassan and IAC co-chair Robbert Dijkgraaf were selected as the first Presidents of the InterAcademy Partnership and to act as figureheads for all our efforts. We are also pleased to announce that the first board meeting of the new InterAcademy Partnership (including the Steering Committee plus representatives of IAP's four regional networks) will be held alongside the IAP EC meeting in Paris this coming November. While these administrative issues are being dealt with, so we are also increasing our visibility, through the development of a new web page.
Please see: www.interacademies.org.
We also offer our sincere thanks to all those member academies who have responded to our calls for feedback on a number of issues - often with very short deadlines. During the past few months, for example, we have requested replies to such surveys as the ASSAf women for science project, on disaster risk reduction to feed into the international agreement that will be the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action that ends in 2015, our own horizon scanning exercise, and UNESCO's proposed update to its 'Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers' (Note: the deadline for responding to this last item is 15 October (for IAP) or 1 November (for responses submitted directly to UNESCO).
From this brief overview, it can be seen that IAP continues to be active in many areas. As we begin to work together under the new InterAcademy Partnership we can expect our range of activities and, hopefully, our influence, to increase. As always, we thank you all for your commitment to IAP and your support for our activities.
Mohamed Hassan & Volker ter Meulen
REPRESENTING IAP AT GLOBAL EVENTS
Antonio Sgamellotti from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), represented the IAP co-chairs at the International Conference on ‘Transition to a New Society’ in March 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro. See here for more details and the Podgorica Declaration.
IAP Coordinator Peter McGrath represented IAP at the meeting of the preparatory committee for the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Geneva in July 2014. See here for more details.
Ryszard Slomski from the Polish Academy of Sciences represented IAP at the Meeting of Experts of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in August 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. See here for the meeting report.
Daya Reddy, President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), presented the new InterAcademy Partnership to ICSU delegates at their General Assembly in Auckland, NZ, in September 2014, where he was also voted ICSU president-elect.
IAP Executive Committee Meeting @ Paris, France
6-7 November 2014
IAP/IAC/IAMP Joint Session @ New Delhi, India
September 2015 (dates tbc)
IAP Conference & General Assembly @ South Africa (venue tbc)
29 February-3 March 2016
FROM IAP MEMBER ACADEMIES / OBSERVERS
The latest report by ALLEA’s Working Group on Science Education is available here.
In June 2014, the Royal Society (UK) published a report 'Vision for Science and Mathematics Education'. The report presents and discusses a vision which aims to raise the general level of mathematical and scientific knowledge and provide confidence in the population and the skills employers need.
Yakov Sinai, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has been awarded the Abel Prize 2014 by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for his ‘fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics’.
The Ghana Young Academy was launched in May 2014 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. For more information on National Young Academies see here.
The African Academy of Sciences has published the latest edition of its quarterly newsletter ‘Science Policy Africa’.
The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) coordinated a number of special events during US President Obama’s US-Africa Leaders Summit on ‘Investing in the next Generation’, which took place in Washington DC August 2014.
SCIENCE EDUCATION PROGRAMME (SEP)
SCIENCE FOR POVERTY ERADICATION
See IAP’s website for information on International Literacy Day in September, and on the upcoming IAP SEP Conference in China in October 2014.
|As a follow-up to IAP’s 2013 Conference and General Assembly, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the IAP Science for Poverty Eradication Committee is organizing a conference from 3-5 December 2014 in Manaus, Brazil, on ‘Science for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development: a Call for Action’, which will focus on topics of critical global issues that more severely impact the poor. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM IAP NETWORKS
NASAC, jointly with the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, organized a training workshop for staff from its member academies on enhancing fundraising skills for science academies, in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2014. The aim was to teach basic understanding of the necessity and application of fundraising, and how to utilize available resources and results to create a successful fundraising strategy.
AASSA is holding its 3rd General Assembly on 14-17 October 2014 at the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi.
EASAC has just published a report on 'European Space Exploration' and launched its report on 'Management of spent nuclear fuel and its waste' (jointly with the JRC) in Brussels on 30 September 2014.
IANAS held its Women for Science working group meeting from 20-22 September 2014 in Ottawa, attended by representatives of 17 academies throughout the Americas. The meeting was hosted by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and included a discussion on the results of a 'Census of Women Scientists' conducted amongst the academies of the Americas.
IAMP organized a workshop on 'Analysing the Social Determinants of Health Inequity' in Trieste, Italy, in July 2014. A workshop report is now available. Plans are also well underway for the 4th IAMP Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Programme held in conjunction with the annual World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany, 17-18 October 2014. Earlier this year The Lancet published an article on 'What has the Young Physician Leaders Programme achieved?'
GLOBAL YOUNG ACADEMY (GYA)
A brainstorming workshop with the GYA and the Joint Research Centre (JRC – the ‘science service’ of the European Commission) took place in Brussels in July 2014, co-organised by IAP’s European network EASAC. As a result, a joint working group on ‘Invisible Worlds’ will start work in autumn 2014.
UPDATES FROM THE IAP SECRETARIAT
The ceremony for the Dirac Medal 2013 with the presence of the awardees - Thomas W.B. Kibble (Imperial College London, UK), Phillip James E. Peebles (Princeton University, USA) and Martin John Rees (University of Cambridge, and former President of the Royal Society, UK), took place in Trieste at ICTP, host to the IAP Secretariat. ICTP is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with an international conference on 6-9 October 2014. See here for details and live webstream.
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The deadline for contributions to the next issue of the IAP News Bulletin is 1 December 2014.