News Archive 2005

News in December 2005 ...

- The Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) organized its 2nd general conference focusing on: “What contributions can African scientists and engineers make toward resolving the energy problems facing the continent?”. The conference took place in Nairobi, Kenya, 12-16 December 2005. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS), which hosts the NASAC secretariat, celebrated its 20th anniversary during the conference.

News in November 2005 ...

- November 7-8, 2005, the NASAC hosted the First International Conference of the Africa Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) on the theme: “Improving Public Policy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Harnessing Science and Technology Capacity”. This Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya and was a collaborative initiative between the NASAC and the US National Academies. It was hosted by the Kenya National Academy of Science (KNAS) and the African Academy

The Africa Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) is a 10 years initiative funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by the US National Academies (US NAS), which has confirmed its support for initial capacity building partnerships with national academies of Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The initiative aims at strengthening the capacities of African national academies to provide science based advice to policy makers and the public as well as enhance regional cooperation among them. US NAS has also agreed to support NASAC annual symposia whose invitees will be members and staff and the representatives of national academies, African and international decision makers, science and health policy experts from around Africa and the world.

For the report, see here.

- Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences released a joint statement on "Globalization and Education" at the workshop which took place at Casina Pio IV, Vatican City from 16-17 November 2005. The statement can be downloaded in pdf format here.

- IANAS, the InterAmerican Network of Science Academies, organized a Summit of the Americas in November 2005. The focus of this Summit was the fight against poverty, creation of employment and democratic governance. For further details, contact the IANAS Secretariat at: ianas@abc.org.br

- At the 18 November 2004 IAP Planning Meeting for the Access to Scientific Information/Digital Divide Initiative, participants heard from representatives of international scientific organizations about the importance of the engagement of the scientific community in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to their governments. One of the recommendations from this planning meeting was that the IAP should assist its member Academies to convey to their governments the central role of science in WSIS principles and actions. To provide that assistance to its member Academies, the IAP is now forwarding a WSIS Science and Development Tool Kit, which contains a description of and Web links to science-related information from the first phase of WSIS, as well as useful information leading to the second WSIS meeting in Tunis in November 2005.
To download the complete "tool kit", click here (pdf file).

- Kenya National Academy of Sciences and African Academy of Sciences co-organized the first conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative, a Gates Foundation initiative administered by NAS (USA). The conference, which took place 6-10 November in Nairobi, focused on strategies for improving public policies to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals in Africa. For more information, contact: ccohen@nas.edu

News in October 2005 ...

- IAP's Executive Committee (EC) met in Shanghai, 16-17 October 2005. The meeting was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Discussions focused on:

Long-term strategy: EC reviewed the draft text of IAP's strategic plan for 2007-2009. The plan, which will be revised and presented to members at the next general assembly, broadly examines IAP's present and future. Specifically, it outlines strategies for improving programmatic initiatives and enhancing the effectiveness of statements and declarations. More generally, the plan seeks to clearly identify IAP's niche within the global scientific community and to propose methods for strengthening the membership's actions and advancing its goals.

2006 general assembly and conference: EC has received a joint invitation from Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) to host IAP's 2006 general conference in Alexandria and general assembly in Cairo. The tentative date, to be confirmed early next year, is the first week of December 2006.

Millennium Development Goals. The co-chairs signed a statement on behalf of IAP calling on the world's scientists, engineers and medical experts to identify and support strategies for reducing poverty as part of a larger effort to advance the UN's Millennium Development Goals. The statement was sent to heads of states at the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York City on 13 September. Leaders of the following international scientific organizations also signed the statement: InterAcademy Council (IAC), International Council for Science (ICSU), Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP), International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), and UN Millennium Project.

news from IAP observers ...

- Association of Academies of Science in Asia (AASA) 6th General Assembly and International Symposium on Science and Technology of Water will be held on 11-13 October in Seoul. The event is hosted by the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST). For additional information, contact riseon@kast.or.kr

- The International Council for Science (ICSU) will hold its 28th General Assembly in Suzhou, China, from 18-21 October, 2005. IAP co-chairs will ad-dress the assembly at the opening session on 18th October. Contact: secretariat@icsu.org

News in September 2005 ...

- The French Academy of Sciences is collecting input from IAP members on the state of health education among children age 6 to 15. For information, contact:
jacques.frochen@academie.sciences.fr

A summary of the workshop on the assessment of inquiry-based science education, part of the IAP science education programme, hosted by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on 21-23 September, is now available on the IAP website, through link under “programmes”.

- The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has published a report, “Global Natural Hazards and Disaster Reduction”. The report is based on discussions that took place at an international workshop held in Phuket, Thailand, 29-30 September. For more information, contact: zywang@cashq.ac.cn

- The government of Kenya has officially recognized the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences (AAS) as an international organization. The meas-ure is expected to significantly improve AAS's oper-ations and ease the Academy's interactions with other international organizations, including TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, which recently established a regional office at AAS.

- Academies of sciences in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic have launched the Central European Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (CEJSH). Articles will be published in Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak, and abstracted in English. See: http://cejsh.icm.edu.pl/

News in June 2005 ...

- Some 20 experts from around the world met in Trieste at the IAP headquarters to discuss IAP's water programme. For full details on the discussions which took place, see link on left to water research and management programme.

- The Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and the science academies of the G8 countries issued a joint statement on science and technology for African Development. The statement was released to the media on 8 June as a prelude to the G8 Summit in Scotland in July. NASAC members will transmit the statement to African government ministries and national academy members will issue their own press releases for media within their own countries. For more information, contact: Laura.van.Veenendaal@bureau.knaw.nl

- Natural Disaster Mitigation. Two working group meetings for the newly launched IAP natural disaster mitigation initiative took place in June in China and Indonesia. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the document, "Global Natural Disaster and Disaster Reduction", drafted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the initiative's lead academy. A third working group meeting is scheduled to take place later this year. For more information, contact: zywang@cashq.ac.cn

News in May 2005 ...

- The Kenyan government last week gave official recognition to the IAP regional member academy - the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) - a body set up 20 years ago by the late entomologist Thomas Odhiambo - as a fully fledged international organisation. For the press release, see Scidevnet:
http://www.scidev.net/content/news/eng/kenya-boosts-outlook-for-african-academy-of-sciences.cfm

- The Palestine Academy for Science and Tech-nology (PALAST) held an International Conference on "Water: Values and Rights" on 2-4 May in Ra-mallah, to analyse the problems associated with water access and scarcity in Palestinian territories. For more information, contact: info@palestineacademy.org

News in April 2005 ...

- The Network of the Academies of Sciences of Islamic Countries (NASIC) met 18-20 April 2005 in Islamabad for the first time since the network's creation in 2004. Representatives from 10 academies participated in the meeting as did Pakistan's Minister of Science and Technology. IAP co-sponsored the event. EC co-chair Yves Quéré announced that IAP would provide NASIC with US$50,000 to help launch a series of regional programmatic activities. Participants also agreed to take steps to forge closer ties between NASIC and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH). For additional information, contact the IAP secretariat.

- NASAC, the Network of African Science Academies, has launched an e-bulletin containing news of its activities, conferences, and networking among science academies in Africa. The first issue, covering January-March 2005 is available from the NASAC Secretariat. To subscribe, write to: aas@africaonline.co.ke

- The Bangladesh Academy of Sciences co-organized a seminar on Albert Einstein and S.N. Bose's fundamental contributions to quantum stat-istics. The seminar took place on 30 April-May 01 as part of the celebration for the World Year of Physics 2005. For more information, contact:
naiyyum@dhaka.net

NASIC
- the Network of Academies of Science in Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference:

NASIC held its second executive committee meeting in Islamabad, 19-20 April 2005. Member academies discussed the NASIC agenda for 2005. NASIC plans to examine intellectual property rights (IPR) issues and encourage members to explore the challenges and opportunities posed by prevailing IPR regimes. For additional information and copies of NASIC's e-newsletter, contact: newsletter@paspk.org

News in March 2005 ...

The IAP Executive Committee at its February meeting in Stockholm, considered the application for membership of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences, founded in 1994. The Committee agreed to admit the Academy, bringing IAP's membership to 92 academies subject to endorsement by the General Assembly at its next meeting in 2006. For details on the Academy, see the membership directory.

IANAS - the InterAmerican Network of Science Academies:

IANAS held its first steering committee on 5 November 2004 at the headquarters of the Royal Society of Canada in Ontario. Participants assessed the first year's activities and discussed plans for the coming months. One of IANAS's main programmes, water, will be on the agenda at the 1st national 'focal point' meeting held at the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, in Bogotá, 12-13 March 2005. The meeting was coordinated by the Brazilian and Mexican Academies of Sciences. For additional information, contact the IANAS secretariat: mcbs@abc.org.br

NASAC - the Network of African Science Academies:

The Senegalese Academy of Science and Technology is organizing a 'focal point' meeting on science education, in collaboration with the members of NASAC. The meeting will be held in Dakar, Senegal, 9-11 March 2005 to address science education issues in the region. IAP is also organizing a workshop focusing on the effectiveness of inquiry-based science education projects. The workshop, which will take place in 2005, is being coordinated by the Chilean Academy of Sciences, the programme's lead academy. A detailed agenda will be available shortly. For additional information on both events, contact: jallende@abello.dic.uchile.cl

News in January 2005 ...

IAP co-chairs wrote to the IAP membership (91 science academies) on 13 January 2005 asking them to participate actively in the post-tsunami relief efforts and stimulate academy scientific research to prevent such disasters happening in the future. A summary of their letter follows:

"... The tsunami, a deadly and dreadful event that effected hundreds of thousands - indeed millions - of people in South Asia, has aroused a sense of sorrow and solidarity worldwide. Assistance and donations from around the world will help care for the survivors and rebuild houses, schools, roads and harbours. These welcome efforts, however, will not prevent such huge tragedies in the future. The scientific community could and should make a unique contribution by providing expert knowledge and information to assist tsunami relief efforts and establish mechanisms for mitigating the impact of future tsunamis on both life and property. As a global network of world academies, IAP could play a key role in these efforts. As IAP co-chairs, we have written to the presidents of the IAP member academies asking them to encourage the scientific community to concentrate on doing everything possible to improve the forecasts of such natural disasters as earthquakes - a formidable challenge - and also to enhance the prompt dissemination of seismic information - a crucial endeavour that is much easier to attain. Because many science academies cannot launch their own research programmes on this subject due to a lack of resources and laboratories, the next IAP EC meeting in Stockholm, 26-27 February, will address such issues as effective monitoring networks, epidemic disease prevention, and GIS calamity assessment. We encourage IAP members, before the meeting takes place, to send us additional topics that they would like the EC to discuss ... "