News Archive 2006

DECEMBER 2006

- The full workshop report from the Royal Society (RS), InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and International Council for Science (ICSU) workshop, held on 4-6 September 2006 at the Royal Society, has been released. The workshop brought together 84 leading international scientific and policy experts from 23 countries to provide independent and authoritative advice to BTWC States Parties on new scientific and technological developments relevant to the Sixth Review Conference, which will take place in Geneva between 20 November and 8 December 2006.

BTWC Workshop report
RS-IAP-ICSU Statement
Geneva Seminar flyer

- The Africa Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) is a 10-year 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.
Link to ASADI website.

SEPTEMBER 2006

- Following the release of the IAP statement on biosecurity, a workshop was organized from 4-6 September 2006 by The Royal Society, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and IAP in London. The workshop focused on the scientific and technological developments relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWTC).
More information is available here.

- The IAP International Conference, Unity of Science, will take place in Alexandria, Egypt, on 1-4 December 2006. The conference’s major themes are mathematical sciences, life sciences, physical sciences and environmental sciences. The IAP General Assembly will take place on 5 December. Satellite symposia will be held on biosecurity and water on 6 December. A circular containing information on local arrangements will be sent to participants in early September.

- International Council for Science: The ICSU Regional Office for Africa is organizing its 2nd Regional Consultative Forum in Pretoria on 25-27 September 2006. For additional information, contact: secretariat@icsu-africa.org.

- Following the successful “study visit,” organized by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam in January this year (see IAP Bulletin no. 24), the Royal Society, UK, is planning another event for members of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), which will take place in London, 9-13 October 2006. NASAC members will learn about the workings of The Royal Society and its relationship to government and society. Scientific advisers of the British government will discuss the UK’s efforts in international science and innovation collaboration. For information, contact: joann.fong@royalsoc.ac.uk.

- The Romanian Academy, together with the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales de Paris and the Romanian National Foundation for Science and Art, are sponsoring a series of seminars examining European issues related to minorities, language and culture. The next seminar is scheduled to take place 20-24 September 2006 in Sinaia, Romania. For additional information, contact: esimion@acad.ro.

- The proceedings of the South-East European summer school for hands-on primary science education are now available. The school, organized by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in June 2005, was supported by IAP and the Serbian Ministry of Education and Sport. For copies of the proceedings, contact: office@vin.bg.ac.yu. The second South-East European school for hands on primary science education, will take place in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, 11-21 November 2006.

AUGUST 2006

- NASIC: An international seminar on Strengthening Science in Africa, organized by the Committee on Science and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), was held in Islamabad, 19-20 February 2006. Sponsorship for the event took place through a trilateral agreement among COMSTECH, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Network of Academy of Sciences in Islamic Countries (NASIC). A summary of the seminar is available at: www.interacademies.net/?id=3488. For more information, contact: pasisb@yahoo.com.

JULY 2006

- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences organized an international seminar on the Future of Nuclear Energy on 15 May 2006. Hans Blix, former executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Commission on Weapons of Mass destruction, was an invited speaker. Experts from France, Japan and the US also lectured. A panel debate on the future of nuclear energy and the risks posed by the spread of nuclear weapon technology also took place. For additional information, see: www.kva.se.

- The report of the International Conference of the Africa Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI), Improving Public Policy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Harnessing Science and Technology Capacity/ (7-8 November 2005), is now available on the IAP website at: www.interacademies.net/CMS/6295. aspx. Print copies can be obtained from the Kenya National Academy of Sciences: knas@iconnect.co.ke.

JUNE 2006

- Twelve national science academies have joined together in calling on world leaders, particularly those of the G8 countries meeting next month in Russia, to tackle the problems of avian influenza and other infectious diseases through cooperative, global strategies. The academies also urged leaders to jointly implement policies for improving the efficient use of energy and achieving sustainable, reliable, and environmentally acceptable energy supplies for all nations.

For more:
Statement on avian influenza and infectious diseases
Statement on energy sustainability and security

- An IAP workshop on Water Security took place in Beijing,12-15 June 2006. Organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the workshop examined the experience and knowledge gained in East Asian countries in water crisis management. Demonstrations of technology developed for improved water management was given. A two-day excursion to Three-Gorges Dam was also organized. For information, contact: mcbs@abc.org.br, or see here.

MAY 2006

- The IAP International Symposium on Groundwater Sustainability (ISGWAS) was organized as part of the IAP-Water Programme for the period 2004-2006. The results of the symposium, presented at the 4th World Water Forum from 16-22 March 2006, Mexico City, are now available. See here for the report.

- Representatives from the 13 academies that comprise the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) visited the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam from 29 January - 6 February 2006.
KNAW organized the event as part of a larger effort to promote science and technology (S&T) capacity in Africa. The initiative parallels and complements IAP’s capacity building programme headed by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Specifically, the NASAC visit sought to:

strengthen African academies through in-depth discussions about KNAW activities and modes of operation, promote an exchange of information about African and Dutch science and science policy systems, and facilitate networking opportunities; and provide KNAW with an opportunity to learn about the capacity building needs of African academies and to discuss ideas for future KNAW capacity building activities with colleagues from Africa.

The programme focused on five scientific fields – agriculture, energy, health sciences, social sciences and water – and five areas of policy - foresight, evaluation, S&T education and training, science expertise and advice in public policy making. The visitors were also introduced to KNAW's administrative procedures.

A special feature of the visit was a trip to Brussels for a one-day programme organized by the Department of International Cooperation (INCO), Directorate General for Research of the European Commission. There, visitors were introduced to the S&T policy of the European Union and funding opportunities for African researchers.

The Programme

List of NASAC Participants

Report on working visit

APRIL 2006

- The Royal Society's MP- Scientist Pairing Scheme was established five years ago to build bridges between the parliamentary and scientific communities, as part of the Academies' science and society activities. A number of science academies have expressed interest in the scheme and the Society is willing to provide advice and encouragement, as has been the case with the Académie des Sciences in Paris. For more information, contact: dialogue@royalsoc.ac.uk.

The brochure on the MP- Scientist Pairing Scheme can be downloaded from the Royal Society's webpage:
http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=1142

- The International Dialogue on Science and Practice in Sustainable Development (IDSP) to be held in Thailand in January 2007 aims to foster effective collaborations between scientists and practitioners to advance the practice of sustainable development through knowledge sharing and promoting national, regional, and international actions and implementation. The dialogue is organized under the Initiative of Science and Technology for Sustainability (ISTS) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Calls for sessions and posters available at: www.sustdialogue.org

MARCH 2006

- Some 250 participants from 50 countries attended the International Symposium on Groundwater Sustainability, organized by the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain, under the auspices of the IAP Water Programme from 24-27 January 2006 in Alicante, Spain.

Symposium sessions centred on five themes –hydrogeology; groundwater economics; ecological implications of groundwater use; information, education and conflict prevention; and institutions for groundwater management. With the collaboration of the University of Alicante, a contest for secondary schools on groundwater issues was also organized. Some 2,000 schools were invited to participate and four young students were selected to present the results of their research in the plenary session of the symposium. IAP Co-chair, Yves Quéré also attended. For additional information, see: www.interacademies.net/CMS/Programmes/3132.aspX

- The IAP working group on science education organized an International Evaluation of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) meeting, in Washington, D.C., on 16-17 March 2006, sponsored by the US National Academies of Sciences. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) held the first Africa regional meeting on Science Teacher Accreditation, in Pretoria, on 23-24 March 2006. Full reports of these meetings will be posted on the IAP website. Contact: jallende@abello.dic.uchile.cl

- The 15th Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences will take place in conjunction with a conference on Science and Technology in a Caribbean Environment from 21-23 May 2006 in Guadeloupe. For additional information, contact: wmello@yahoo.com

- 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.

FEBRUARY 2006

- COMSTECH, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Network of Academies of Sciences in Islamic Countries (NASIC) co-sponsored an International Seminar on Strengthening Science in Africa, which was held in Islamabad, Pakistan from 19-20 February 2006.
The rationale for the event was that, as the African region represents more than half of the total members of the OIC, it deserves more attention than it usually gets for the socio-economic development of the OIC region. Promotion of science and technology is one of the main building blocks of the much sought-after economic progress that Africa aspires to achieve in the twenty-first century. The event was organized with a view to reach a closer understanding for building Science and Technology capabilities for increased productivity and rapid economic growth.
Twenty guest speakers participated in the seminar sharing their experiences and recommendation of policy guidelines for sustainable development of the African region of OIC. The participants agreed that developmental policies for sustainable growth in science and technology are vital for solving many challenges faced by the OIC member states in the African region. They also emphasized the need to improve the capacity of scientists to communicate their research with peers, policymakers, corporate sector, media, and educational institutions. It was agreed that these recommendations will be submitted to The COMSTECH General Assembly and funding will be requested from partners and international donors. For more information, contact the NASIC Secretariat at pasisb@yahoo.com.

- IAP announces the date for its triennial Conference and General Assembly. The event will take place in Alexandria and Cairo, 1-6 December 2006

- Inquiry-based science education: the conclusions of the IAP workshop hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences are available here.

- Call for nominations: 2006 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Award - an International Award to Recognize Achievements in Mental Health.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is accepting nominations for the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat Award in Mental Health. The international award recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for outstanding achievement in improving mental health and is accompanied by a medal and $20,000 US. Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat established the award in 1991 out of a commitment to improving the science base and delivery of mental health services.
For more information visit www.iom.edu/Sarnat

JANUARY 2006

- IAP held a workshop on promoting access and capacity building for scientific information resources in Dakar, Senegal, 30-31 January. The workshop was organized by the Senegalese Academy of Sciences in Dakar, in collaboration with the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). For information, contact: mseck@ucad.sn.

- The working group of the IAP Natural Disaster Mitigation initiative cooperated with the Committee on DATA for S&T (CODATA) to jointly co-sponsor a regional workshop with the CODATA Task Group on Data Sources in Asian-Oceanic Countries (DSAO) in Thailand 12-13 January, 2006.

See: http://www.codata.org/taskgroups/TGasian/DSAO2006agenda.html for more information on the workshop.

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