News Archive 2002

News in December 2002

The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), in collaboration with US NAS, is organizing a workshop on capacity building for countries with predominantly Muslim communities to be held from 5-7 March 2003 in Trieste. See IAP programmes for more information.

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) generously hosted the IAP Executive Committee Meeting at the academy headquarters on 18 and 19 November 2002. The meeting was chaired by Eduardo Krieger and Yves Quéré. A summary of the discussion is available from the IAP Secretariat.

Strengthening Science-Based Decision-Making: This programme, announced at WSSD, is a Type II partnership that will support 3 workshops in developing countries. The scientists and decision-makers who participate in the workshops are expected to focus on one issue critical to long-term sustainability where the local and regional scientific community can effectively contribute to the decision-making process. The issues will be selected from key topics featured at WSSD, such as water and sanitation, air and climate, persistent organic pollutants, and biodiversity. The partnership will involve the U.S. National Academies, other national science academies, the InterAcademy Panel, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and a number of other organizations. For more information, please contact: tjohnson@nas.edu.

News in November 2002

A joint editorial appeared in the 8 November issue of the US publication Science by Lord May of Oxford, President of The Royal Society, UK, and Bruce Albert, President of US National Academy of Sciences called 'scientist support for biological weapons controls'. The full text of the editorial can be
found on the The Royal Society website at :
http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/templates/statements/StatementDetails.cfm?statemen

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized the World Science Day on 10 November 2002. Science academies and scientific organizations worldwide held local events. For details, see: http://www.unesco.org/pao/events/wsdpd.htm.

News in October 2002

IAP recently held a workshop on Capacity Building for Academies in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The workshop, which took place in Rio de Janeiro on 23-24 September was hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Latin American participants included representatives from 10 science academies, and 6 national research councils. The workshop emphasized the need for greater networking among science academies throughout the region. For more information, see the IAP capacity building programmes.

US National Academy of Sciences's Council released a statement in August reaffirming the importance of international collaboration in science and emphasising the need to maintain close collaboration among the world's national science academies. The statement is available at: www4.nationalacademies.org/nas/nashome.nsf/urllinks/NAS-5CXJ84?OpenDocument.

Nigerian Academy of Sciences has published two monographs "Science Today in Africa" and "Science Today in Nigeria," which were presented for the first time at the World Summit for Sustainable Development. For additional information, contact: nascience@aol.com. Abstracts of each book are available from the IAP secretariat.

News in September 2002

IAP and ICSU (International Council for Science) will soon launch an electronic portal designed to assist science teachers worldwide. The site, which will be displayed for the first time at the upcoming ICSU-CCBS (Committee on Capacity Building in Science) Conference in Rio de Janeiro, in September, will enable teachers to share their classroom experiences with colleagues from around the globe. It will also serve as a comprehensive clearing-house for available resources (for example, curriculum outlines, study guides, book lists, laboratory exercises) that could help science teachers in the preparation of their lessons and activities.

The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) is organizing an interacademy seminar focusing on issues related to science teaching. The seminar, to be held on 24-25 October in New Delhi, seeks to share experiences in science teaching/learning. Emphasis will be placed on teaching methodologies and experimental models, curricula testing and evaluation, and the popularization of science. For more information, visit the IAP webpage on science education, or contact: vkrish@jncasr.ac.in

The Brazilian Academy of Sciences has finalized the programme for the IAP Workshop on Capacity Building for Academies in the Latin American and Caribbean Region, Rio de Janeiro. For additional information, visit the IAP webpage on capacity building, or contact: Marcos Cortesão Barnsley Scheuenstuhl, mcbs@abc.org.br

News in August 2002

The Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) has launched "Diary/Günce," a publication of selected articles taken from its regular journal and translated into English. The first issue examines the relation-ship between science and culture. The aim of the publication is to report on scholarly activities and current research trends both domestically and internationally. For a copy of the publication, contact: tuba@tubitak.gov.tr

The Royal Irish Academy, in association with the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, will host an international conference on "Natural and Cultural Landscapes: The Geological Foundation" in Dublin, 9-12 September. For more information about the event, see: www.ria.ie/committees/geology/events.html, or contact: landscapes@ria.ie.

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) organized a joint workshop on "Frontiers in New Materials" in collaboration with the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) on 8 August in Ottowa. The programme and further information is available from Shawna Lawson at the RSC, email: slawson@rsc.ca.

News in July 2002

The Royal Society of Canada and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology are running a workshop on 8 August at the University of Ottawa on Fontiers in New Materials. The programme is available here in pdf format. For more information, contact the Society, email: slawson@mail.magma.ca.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), an international process designed to strengthen capacity to manage ecosystems sustainably for human well-being, is currently inviting scientific societies, academies, ministries, and research organizations to become Affiliated Scientific Organizations and Academies to the MA (ASOA). ASOA members, for example, will be encouraged to submit nominations of individuals to serve as lead authors and expert reviewers in the MA process. ASOA members, in turn, will receive a limited number of copies of final reports and be asked to participate in various MA activities. Organizations interested in become ASOA members should submit a one-page description of their mission, membership, and activities. For additional information, contact Nicolá J. Lucas at the World Resources Institute in Washington (email: lucas@wri.org).

News in June 2002

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) has launched its second study. The study will focus on agricultural productivity and food security in Africa. IAP members have been contacted by email and post to nominate candidates for the study panel. Nominations should be submitted to the IAC secretariat. For additional information, contact A. Koers: a.koers@iac.knaw.nl.

IAP members have been asked to participate in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), a four-year effort to assess the state of ecosystems worldwide that is modelled after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For additional information, contact Walter Reid: reid@millenniumassessment.org.

The Turkish Academy of Sciences has published the IAP statement "Transition to Sustainability in the 21st Century" in Turkish. Copies are available from the academy (contact: tuba@tubitak.gov.tr), or can be downloaded at the link "statements" - see left scroll bar.

The Council of Swiss Scientific Academies (CASS) has appointed Anne-Christine Clottu-Vogel president of the Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE). The KFPE research policy and development statement of May 2002 can be obtained from the IAP secretariat or directly from kfpe@sanw.unibe.ch.

News in May 2002

Erling Norrby, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, represented IAP at WSSD's PreComm IV Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, held from 27 May to 7 June. Norrby was joined by Mohamed H.A. Hassan, executive director of TWAS, and Thomas Rosswall, executive director of ICSU. Representatives at the meeting agreed to hold a "science forum" at the Summit, to be led by ICSU, TWAS and IAP. Additional information about the forum, scheduled to take place from 26-29 August, will be sent to IAP members as it becomes available. IAP members have received a two-page "dialogue" paper prepared by ICSU and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) in cooperation with IAP, TWAS and the International Social Sciences Council (ISSC).
IAP members are being encouraged to contact their science ministries urging them to appoint scientists to their delegations attending WSSD. Scidev.net, an electronic portal devoted to science issues in the developing world, produced with the cooperation of TWAS, has launched a section on its site devoted to sustainability science issues.

Australian Academy of Science held its annual "Science at the Shine Dome" in Canberra from 1-3 May. Newly elected fellows discussed their research at the event. The annual symposium, which forms part of the event, focused on the topic "Transition to Sustainability." More information is available from www.science.org.au/.

News in April 2002

The Pontificia Academia Scientiarvm has informed us that the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciencesis holding its VIII Plenary Session in the Vatican City from 8 -13 April, 2002 with a colloquium on globalisation and inequalities, a round table with outside experts on social doctrine of the Church on democracy and a round table on intergenerational solidarity. The tentative programme is available here. More information can be obtained by writing to Mons. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, academy.sciences@acdscience.va.

News in March 2002

The Royal Society of Canada is organizing a meeting on the theme "Research and Security", from 9-10 May in Ottawa to open a dialogue with the national academies of the USA on issues relating to security and the terrorism risk. The preliminary programme listing the speakers is available here. More information can be obtained by writing to Shawna Lawson, slawson@rsc.ca.

IAP programme on science education: The Malaysian Minister of Education and the Akademi Sains Malaysia invited IAP co-chair Yves Quéré to Kuala Lumpur in January to launch a joint academy project in the field of science education in primary schools. The project has adopted the model of the French educational programme La main à la pâte. Malaysia is embarking on a pilot project to introduce science instruction in the first year of all primary schools. Key items of discussion included teacher training, curricula, and the role of the science academy in education. For details, write to Yves Quéré, international@academie-sciences.fr, or Dato Lee, lyeec@pc.jaring.my.

TWAS and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) have signed an agreement promoting cooperation and information exchange among scientific communities in Africa, Asia and the Netherlands. Proposed activities include visiting professorships in science in Asia and Africa and short-term studies in research centres in the Netherlands within the framework of the TWAS fellowship programme in basic sciences. The agreement was announced in January in Amsterdam. For additional details: C.M. van den Heuvel, isk@bureau.knaw.nl. Details on the fellowship programme: www.twas.org.

Accademia dei Lincei is organizing several events in Rome in spring 2002 to mark its 400th anniversary, including a "History of National Academies in Europe" meeting on 12 March. See http://www.lincei.it/CONVEGNI.2002/PROGRAMMI/PRG.STORIA.ACCADEMIE.html for the programme. The Academy is also hosting the All European Academies (ALLEA) general assembly from 13-15 March, and the annual Amaldi Conference from 27-29 April, with sessions on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as xenophobia, migration and ethnic conflict. For details, contact the Lincei secretariat, delbuono@lincei.it.

News in January 2002

The United Nations has begun intense preparation for the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which is to be held from 26 August - 4 September 2002. Taking account of the summit's theme, IAP strongly believes that it should be directly involved in this global gathering. Science must have a greater presence at Johannesburg, notably via the academies, than it had in the Rio "Earth" Summit in 1992.
In this spirit, we wrote in June and December 2001 to our member academies, asking each to ensure that its country includes one or more prominent scientists in the area of sustainable development in its national representation. Thanks to all those who pursued this request (see "From the Secretariat," p. 2, for more)..... This is why we have found it important for IAP to join ICSU, TWAS and WFEO in the editing of a text that attempts to define "the role in and the contributions of the scientific and technological community to sustainable development." This text will be presented at the "PrepCom," a preparatory meeting for WSSD, which will take place in New York City in late January. The text mentions some of the actions in which IAP is directly involved. IAP will be represented at this meeting by E. Norrby (Sweden), L. Goldfarb (France) and M.H.A. Hassan (TWAS, Italy)..... Extract from the Co-chairs letter to IAP Members in January 2002.

Brain Gain: As reported in Science, November 2001, The Royal Society of London is launching a programme designed to attract top postdoc researchers from the United States to the United Kingdom beginning in June 2002. The programme, sparked by discussions with the US National Academy of Sciences, is aimed at sharing scientific talent between the two nations. Additional information: http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/international/intro.htm

The Nigerian Academy of Sciences held a forum on capacity building in Nigeria's scientific societies on 18 October 2001. The forum was attended by representatives from the academies of science, engineering and education and Nigerian scientific societies and institutes. The full report can be obtained from the IAP Secretariat.

The Académie Nationale Malgache will officially begin its centenary celebration on 27 February 2002. The theme for the year-long celebration is "fundamental and applied sciences."

The Science Council of Japan has released a statement concerning the legal protection of databases. The Council opposes the creation of new copyright laws contending that existing copyright laws are adequate. It also reaffirms its position that full and open exchange of data and information is essential in the conduct of scientific research and education. A copy of the statement can be obtained from the IAP secretariat.