The InterAcademy Quarterly News Bulletin
Dear InterAcademy Partnership members,
Many of you will have recently returned from the IAP Conference and General Assembly held in Hermanus, South Africa.
For those academies that were unable to send a representative to the IAP Conference and General Assembly held in Hermanus, South Africa, we are pleased to confirm that the Conference on Science Advice was a great success. More than 200 people, including representatives from over 70 academies, attended – making it the largest gathering of academies of science and medicine ever.
If you were unable to attend the meeting, a summary report is available on the IAP website. As we receive additional feedback from speakers and other participants, the Conference website will be updated while we are preparing the full conference report.
The IAP Conference was followed immediately by the IAP General Assembly and one of us (KL) would like to thank everyone for their support during the elections for the new IAP co-chair. Mohamed Hassan will be a hard act to follow, but I promise to do my best and commit myself to the goals of IAP.
We would also like to congratulate all those academies who make up the new Executive Committee 2016-2018.
The General Assembly also saw member academies of both IAP and IAMP endorse the establishment of the new InterAcademy Partnership with the rebranding of IAP, IAMP and IAC to IAP for Science, IAP for Health and IAP for Research, respectively. This is the culmination of a 3-year process – but the work does not stop here. While the secretariats and regional networks are busy with updating and rebranding websites and other materials, we are also busily searching for funding to implement our project ideas. We kindly ask you, therefore, to keep us informed of any opportunities that you are aware of.
And speaking of funding, we will also be approaching you soon with our annual request for voluntary member contributions to help support our fundraising campaign and/or our projects. We hope that those academies that have contributed in the past will continue to be so generous – and those who previously have not been able to do so will be in a position to join them in supporting our common activities.
Finally, it just remains for us to thank our hosts in Hermanus, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) for securing additional sponsorship for the conference and for all the effort they put into its organization. Special thanks are also reserved for two people. The first is Mohamed Hassan, who – after his long association with IAP – no longer has an official role but we are pleased to announce that he has agreed to act as a ‘special adviser’ to IAP. Given his great experience with the Trieste System, UNESCO and our main sponsor, the Italian government, we are fortunate to be able to call upon his experience. The second is Joanna Lacey, who has moved on from the IAP secretariat after 15 years. However, she will be close by as she has accepted a position as senior secretarial assistant to the director of the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, where IAP and TWAS have their offices. We wish her the best of luck in her new post.
If the feedback we are receiving following the conference in Hermanus is anything to go by – and now that we have restructured into the InterAcademy Partnership – these are interesting and vibrant times for our respective networks. We hope that we will continue to engage all of you as we move forward together in this new ‘inter- academy era’.
Mohamed Hassan & Volker ter Meulen
Science International is designed as a series of meetings between four major international science bodies – the International Council for Science (ICSU), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) – to bring their combined international representation and credibility together on behalf of science in the international policy arena. A series of meetings and discussions through 2015 resulted in the release of an Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World. The accord was released on 7 December 2015 at the first Science Forum South Africa. Science International partner organizations are now working on an extensive campaign to invite member academies and other organizations to sign up to the Accord. An online sign up process is currently being identified and IAP and IAMP members will soon receive a letter to this effect.
- 4th InterAcademy Partnership Joint Session & 3rd meeting of the InterAcademy Partnership Board @ Beijing, China 26 September 2016
- IAP for Health Scientific Conference ’Promoting Health’ & General Assembly @ Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing, China, 27-28 and 29 September 2016
For more updates, see Meetings & Events
IAP FOR HEALTH (FORMERLY IAMP)
IAP for Health membership now stands at 78 academies, 52 of which are also members of IAP for Science. For details see here.
The 2015 edition of the IAP for Health Young Physician Leaders (YPL) programme convened in Berlin in October last year, in conjunction with the World Health Summit (WHS). 19 YPL from 17 countries attended the interactive leadership training workshop, visited world-class research facilities in the city, and participated in the WHS that was attended by Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization. The 19 YPL join previous alumni who are listed on specific online YPL Directory which now has 107 members. Next up, with additional support from the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, some 30 alumni will attend a special 5-year reunion that is being arranged at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May. As it will be held in conjunction with the WHA, the delegates will have the opportunity to attend an array for different events and workshops. IAP for Health and nominating academies are also working to get the alumni accepted at part of their official national WHA delegations.
IAP for Health has adopted the issue of ‘One Health’ as a programme initiative and co-hosted a symposium, ‘One World - One Health’, in collaboration with Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Deutschland) at the World Health Summit (11-13 October 2015) Berlin, Germany. The founding president of the One Health Platform Foundation, Ab Osterhaus, was among the invited speakers. Three experts nominated by IAP for Health are also now officially engaging with the One Health Platform Foundation.
The 4th International One Health Congress and 6th Biennial Congress of the International Association for Ecology and Health will take place in Melbourne, Australia, on 3-7 December 2016.
The IAP for Health Scientific Conference on the theme of ‘Promoting Health’ will take place on 27-28 September, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering in Beijing, China. It will be followed immediately by the IAP for Health General Assembly on 29 September.
IAP FOR RESEARCH (FORMERLY IAC)
IAP for Research has obtained support for two major projects from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
- ‘Harnessing Science, Engineering, and Medicine to Address Africa’s Challenges’ aims at mobilizing African leaders in science, engineering and medicine, together with partners and stakeholders from around the world, to develop and implement new approaches for addressing a range of challenges facing individual countries, regions, and the continent as a whole.
- ‘Improving Scientific Input to Global Policymaking: Strategies for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’ aims at strengthening the ability of scientific organizations around the world to contribute high quality, evidence-based input and advice to policy makers in areas relevant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) members are invited to nominate Committee members and/or staff members to help implement either of the projects. Interest academies are invited to contact the IAC Secretariat (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) by 19 April latest.
FROM IAP AFFILIATED REGIONAL NETWORKS
AASSA released a ‘Statement on the Earthquake Disaster in Nepal‘ in April 2015 in which it appeals to international bodies of science like IAP and the International Council for Science (ICSU) to provide all possible assistance for rebuilding the region’s educational institutions and research bodies engaged in S&T. The IAP for Science co- chairs also signed the statement.
AASSA also organized an International Symposium on ‘Global Health Issues in Asia’ on conjunction with its executive board meeting, in Daejeon, Korea, on 19-21 October 2015.
In 2015, NASAC published a booklet on ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in Africa – Recommendations to Policymakers‘ which focuses on why climate change adaptation and resilience is crucial for Africa. A communication event to publicise the booklet among policy-makers is planned for later in 2016.
IANAS will be holding its Conference and General Assembly 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of the celebrations of the centennial of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (3-7 May 2016).
To introduce young girls to the wonders of sciences, the IANAS Women for Science Program prepared a free publication in English and Spanish entitled ‘Young Women Scientists: A bright future for the Americas‘ that presents the research and lives of 20 young amazing women scientists in the Americas.
EASAC recently published a report on ‘Gain of Function‘, which was launched with a discussion event in Brussels and subsequently as a commentary in Nature in April. It received widespread media coverage both in Europe and globally.
IAP ACTIVITIES AROUND THE WORLD
The UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030 took place in January 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. IAP acted as one of the co- organisers, and IAP coordinator Peter McGrath presented a poster on IAP's activities in DRR. The conference saw the launch of the UNISDR Science and Technology Partnership for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, and discussed and endorsed the UNISDR Science and Technology Roadmap to 2030 to define the expected outcomes of the science and technology work under each of the four Sendai Framework priorities for actions and the ways to monitor progress and review emerging needs.
In December 2015, IAP through its Biosecurity Working Group and in partnership with the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Science published a review of scientific and technological developments that have implications for the UN Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). The review was presented at a side event at the Meeting of the States Parties to the BWC in Geneva, Switzerland. It ensures that the most up to date scientific advice in the area of biosciences is available to assist policy makers in preparing for the 8th BWC Review Conference, which takes in place December 2016.
The IAP Science Education Programme (SEP) Global Council Meeting 2016 will take place during the International Conference on ‘Improving the Learning of Biology and Related Sciences at the Pre-University Level’, which will take place 14-15 April 2016 in Santiago, Chile.
FROM IAP MEMBER ACADEMIES / OBSERVERS
IAP membership continues to grow with 4 new recently established academies: Benin National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of Burkina Faso, Academy of Sciences of Ecuador and the National Academy of Sciences of Honduras.
2016 sees the 20th anniversary of the Academy of Science of South Africa, the centennial celebrations of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and the 350th anniversary celebrations of the French Académie des Sciences.
Outgoing IAP co-chair Mohamed Hassan has been elected President of the Sudanese National Academy of Science.
The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is organising an international meeting on ‘Florence 1966-2016‘ in Rome, Italy, on 11-12 October 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of the great Florence flood. The meeting will focus on the resilience of art cities to natural disasters and the role of academies of sciences. The conference will consider catastrophes of ‘natural’ origin such as floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts is organising an International Conference on ‘Technology + Society =? Future‘ together with its partners the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), the Global Round Table (GRT), and the European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities (All European Academies-ALLEA) in Podgorica, Montenegro, on 19-20 May 2016.
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has secured additional funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the IAP project on ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture‘, which includes working groups established by all four IAP regional networks: AASSA, EASAC, IANAS, and NASAC.
IAP observer, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) is holding its General Assembly in Kuwait on 16-19 May 2016.
IAP YOUNG SCIENTISTS ACTIVITIES & GLOBAL YOUNG ACADEMY (GYA)
An international expert workshop took place as part of the GYA’s ‘Solid Waste Management and Green Economy‘ project in October 2015 at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle, Germany.
Sherien Elagroudy of the GYA gave a talk at the TWAS 11th Annual Meeting ‘Green Economy: A Road Map for Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction in the Arab Region’ that was held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 16-17 December 2015.
In November 2015, the GYA cooperated with IAP, WAYS and ICORSA to bring 50 young scientists from 30 countries to the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary. This was the first time these four organizations, each with an interest in promoting the involvement of young scientists in global decision-making, had come together to organize such an event.
In December 2015, the GYA and the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts organized an interdisciplinary young experts meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on the refugee crisis to develop a vision document based on the latest evidence. The goal of this meeting on ‘Fresh Scientific Eyes on the Refugee Crisis’ was to provide policy-makers and committed citizens with key insights and potential approaches to address aspects of the current refugee crisis.
All IAP and related publications are available online at: http://www.interacademies.net/Publications.aspx
UPDATES FROM IAP SECRETARIAT
The IAP Secretariat invites all InterAcademy Partnership member academies and Affiliated Regional Networks to contribute to the Meetings & Events page on the website by submitting information and details on workshops and further events they are organizing.
We also encourage members create your own Twitter accounts (if you have not already done so) and to follow us on Twitter @IAPartnership.
Special thanks are offered to Joanna Lacey, who worked for the past 15 years in the IAP secretariat in Trieste. She has recently moved on to act as senior secretarial assistant to the director of ICTP (see page 1). While we seek a full-time replacement, Sabina Caris has been seconded to IAP by TWAS on a part-time basis.
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The deadline for contributions to the next issue of the News Bulletin is 30 June 2016.