News Archive 2004

News in December 2004 ...

- New IAP Member:
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts has 160 members and is one of the most eminent scientific and art institutions in Serbia. It is one of the oldest and largest academies in South-East Europe, aiming to contribute to further achievements and excellence in science, art and culture in the region and worldwide. The academy was founded in 1886 as the Royal Serbian Academy
Today the academy directs a number of research projects in cooperation with national scientific institutes and universities and internationally. Although supported by the State budget, the academy runs its activities independently. See the Academy website at: http://www.sanu.ac.yu/English/Presidency/SANUpred.htm

News in November 2004 ...

- The IAP-established regional network NASAC (Network of African Science Academies) , held its first science summit on "The HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa" in Abuja, 20-23 September 2004. The summit took place in conjunction with the 6th General Assembly of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). It was organized by AAS and the Nigerian Academy of Sciences with the support of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Nigeria. The official communiqué called for massive investment in science and technology coordinated through the NEPAD (New Partner for Africa's Development) initiative to combat HIV/AIDS and the greater involvement of national science academies in policy making and science-based decision making. For details, see: www4.nationalacademies.org/iap/iaphome.nsf/weblinks/WWWW-65PDR8?OpenDocument.

- Cameroon Academy of Sciences held a workshop on biotechnology, focusing on genetically modified crops, food and feed stock, 23-24 July 2004 in Yaounde. The workshop was sponsored by the Ministries of Scientific and Technical Re-search, Higher Education, Environment and Forestry. At the close of the meeting working groups agreed to contact the Cameroon Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research to urge the creation of a national research programme for monitoring and evaluating genetically engineered crops. Reports are available from: cas-ciences@yahoo.com.

- French Academy of Sciences and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina signed a memorandum of understanding, 11 June 2004, the first by the Academy with a scientific institution in an Arab country. The agreement will also benefit the French educational programme "La main å la pâte", coordinated by the Academy, by describing the programme on the Bibliotheca's website in Arabic. For additional information, contact: frochen@academie-sciences.fr.

News in October 2004 ...

- IAP Publications: IAP has produced a new brochure on its activities, as well as a poster for display at IAP member academies' events.

Download (pdf files): Brochure 2004

Poster 2004 (recommended printing size: 42cm x 60cm)

Colour copies are available from the IAP Secretariat.

- The Science Council of Japan will organize its fifth annual International Conference this year together with ICSU (International Council for Science) on the theme "Asian Megacities and Sustainability", in Tokyo, from 10-12 November 2004.
IAP is serving as a "collaborator" given the theme is pertinent to the mission and activities of the network, to show the audience of national, regional and international policymakers, academic institutions and the public that the organizers are global representative bodies of the scientific community working together toward this very important global issue.

The programme will consist of plenary lectures with leading scientists in the field and several panel discussions on key issues. It is anticipated that a statement will be delivered at the end of the conference, for further actions by scientific community in coming years. Visit the conference website at: http://www.simul-conf.com/mega/index2.html for futher information.

News in September 2004 ...

- The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) currently has a vacancy for the position of programme officer. Click here to download the pdf file. Further information is available from info@twas.org.

- TWAS has launched new fellowships in collaboration with Brazil, China and India:

- The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, India, and TWAS have instituted two types of fellowships for foreign scientists from developing countries who wish to do biotechnology work in India, for Postgraduate Studies or Postdoctoral Research. Travel expenses of visitors are covered by TWAS while living expenses are provided by DBT.

- TWAS and the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata, India have agreed to offer five fellowships annually to young foreign scientists from developing countries who wish to pursue research leading towards a Ph.D in physical sciences. Travel expenses of visitors are covered by TWAS while living expenses are provided by the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences.

- The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and TWAS have instituted two types of fellowships for foreign scientists from developing countries (other than Brazil), for Master's degree holders wishing to earn a Ph.D. in natural sciences or Ph.D. holders wishing to do postdoctoral research in Brazil. Travel expenses of visitors are covered by TWAS while living expenses are provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology, through the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

- The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China and TWAS have agreed to offer three types of fellowships to scientists from developing countries (other than China): for Master's degree holders wishing to undertake the last year of their Ph.D research in China; Ph.D. holders wishing to pursue postdoctoral research in natural sciences in China; or to visiting scholars who wish to pursue advanced research in natural sciences. Travel expenses of visitors are covered by TWAS while living expenses are provided by CAS.

For information, see: http://www.twas.org or write to: fellowships@twas.org. Deadlines for application: 31 October each year.


News in August 2004 ...

Forthcoming UN vote on cloning, and IAP ...

67 academies of sciences which signed the IAP Statement on human cloning which IAP released in September 2003 have been contacted again in August 2004 and asked to send a copy of the Statement to the appropriate officials in their government and inform them of the position adopted by the global assembly of science academies. The statement called for a global ban on reproductive cloning, and urged that policy on cloning for research or therapeutic purposes should be left to individual countries to determine according to their own circumstances. The UN Sixth Committee will revisit this topic again in Autumn and a vote on this issue is provisionally scheduled for October 20/21.
The statement (in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) can be downloaded from the url:
http://www4.nationalacademies.org/iap/iaphome.nsf/weblinks/WWWW-5RHFLT?OpenDocument.
See also the press release, courtesy of The Royal Society (UK): http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/templates/press/showpresspage.cfm?file=550.txt

The Royal Society, UK, published a report, "Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties" in July 2004.
The UK Government commissioned the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering - the UK's Academies of science and of engineering respectively - to produce a report on the potential benefits and problems likely to be associated with the development of nanotechnologies. The report highlights how the technologies can bring great benefits to society, including new materials and more powerful computers as well as revolutionary new techniques in medicine, and recommends steps to realise these while minimising possible risks and future uncertainties. The report has been welcomed by policy makers, industry and NGOs both in the UK and overseas. For a copy, contact: nano@royalsoc.ac.uk or see: http://www.nanotec.org.uk/finalReport.htm

The Pakistan Academy of Sciences will host the second executive committee meeting of NASIC (Network of Academies of Sciences in Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference)</B>]. The meeting will take place in conjunction with an interministerial meeting of OIC ministers of science and technology, 7-9 September 2004, in Bhurban. NASIC's electronic newsletter is available at: pasisb@yahoo.com

NASAC (Network of African Science Academies) is organizing its first science summit, "HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Africa: Its Implication on Human Development in the Continent and the Critical Issues in its Control." The conference, hosted by the Nigerian Academy of Sciences, will take place in Abuja from 21-25 September. The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) general assembly will be held during the same time. For more information, contact: aas@africaonline.co.ke

The Science Council of Japan is organizing its fifth international conference with ICSU. The theme is "Asian Megacities and Sustainability." Issues to be discussed include energy use, health, and human settlement and planning in urban environments. The conference will be held in Tokyo from 10-12 November. IAP is a collaborating partner. For more information, contact: i266@scj.go.jp

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences hosts of the World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS). This global network of young scientists plans to conduct scientific research, prepare youth for scientific careers and promote dialogue between the scientific community and society. For more information, see: www.waysnet.org or contact: ways@sztaki.hu.

News in July 2004 ...

Call for greater involvement of developing world scientists in fight against AIDS -
Issued by:
Third World Academy of Sciences
African Academy of Sciences

During the past two decades, HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact on the health and social and economic well-being of populations in many parts of the developing world. In 2003 alone, the disease caused the death of more than three million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite the best efforts of some of the world's most prominent scientists, a vaccine that would protect against the disease is still a long way from reality. Drugs that help fight the virus and alleviate the disease symptoms are available, but are expensive and unavailable to many sufferers living in the world's developing countries. In addition, many countries are still failing to tackle the social issues that lead to the further spread of the disease.

Against this background, and on the eve of AIDS 2004, the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) have issued a joint statement on HIV/AIDS in the developing world, calling for greater involvement of developing world scientists in research initiatives designed to treat and mitigate the disease. Visit the TWAS website at: http://www.ictp.trieste.it/~twas/publ/AIDS.html

News in June 2004 ...

25 June: New York City:

The InterAcademy Council (IAC)'s report on African agriculture Realizing the promise and potential of African agriculture. Science and technology strategies for improving agricultural productivity and food security in Africa has been officially released on 25 June 2004 at a United Nations Publication Launch at U.N. Headquarters, New York, hosted personally by U.N. Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan. All U.N. ambassadors, their senior staff and the U.N. press corps were invited by the U.N.  The IAC study panel Co-Chairs, Ms Speciosa Kazibwe, Uganda; Rudy Rabbinge, the Netherlands; and M.S. Swaminathan, India, presented the report's conclusions and recommendations and responded to questions. 

For additional information, http://www.interacademycouncil.net/africareport and the U.N. website at http://www.un.org/events/africanagriculture.

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For the report of the Academy of Athenss' "International Symposium on Universal Values" held In connection with the 2004 Olympics, in May 2004 (announced below), click here to download a word file.

Caribbean Academy of Sciences has announced a call for papers for its XIV annual meeting and conference devoted to issues related to health sciences research and education in the region. The event, which will take place from 11-14 October 2004, is being held in collaboration with the faculty of medical sciences at the University of the West Indies in Mount Hope. For additional information, contact: wmellowe@eng.uwi.tt.

National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the event, the academy is organizing an international conference on the problems of science and education in the newly independent states. The event will be chaired by Askar Akaev, president of the Republic. For more information, contact: koroleva@aknet.kg.

US National Academy of Sciences has received a 10-year US$20 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to boost the capacity of three African science academies, especially for health-related issues. Participating academies will be selected through an open competition that will take place this year. For additional information, see: http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/04192004?OpenDocument.

Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology recently organized a national conference on Science and Technology for the 21st Century: Retrospect and Prospects in Nepal. For more information, contact: info@ronast.org.np

At an IAP-sponsored meeting hosted by the Chilean Academy of Sciences in Santiago on 5-7 May, 17 academies in the Americas agreed to create the Interamerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS). Howard Alper, former president of The Royal Society of Canada, and Hernan Chaimovich, director of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, were elected IANAS's co-chairs. The secretariat will be located at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Participants agreed that the network will initially focus on two themes: water, with the Mexican and Brazilian Academies of Sciences as the lead academies, and science education, with the Chilean Academy of Sciences as the lead academy.

News in May 2004 ...

- The InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP), a group of 45 medical academies or the medical divisions of science academies from around the world, has announced that it will be moving its secretariat from the US National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC, to the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy. The announcement took place at the headquarters of TWAS. Guy de Thé, cochair of IAMP, stated that move will be completed by the end of this summer.
IAMP, which was created in May 2000, seeks to improve global health, especially among the world's poorest nations; build scientific capacity for addressing health-related issues; and provide independent scientific advice to national governments and international bodies for the promotion of health science and health care policy.
IAMP will be located adjacent to the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP). Both organizations will operate under the administrative umbrella of TWAS in Trieste. For additional information, contact fanin@twas.org.

- In connection with the 2004 Olympics, the Academy of Athens is organizing an "International Symposium on Universal Values" from 26-28 May. IAP will be represented by members of the Cuban Academy of Sciences, Turkish Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. IAP co-chair Yves Quéré will give a short presentation on IAP in the opening session. The symposium will be attended by philosophers, politicians and theologians. The programme, in Greek and English, is available as a pdf file here. For more information, contact: info@academyofathens.gr.

News in April 2004 ...

- The US National Academies now offer free online access in more than 100 developing countries to the reports of the Academies, as well as to journal articles from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The goal is to help developing countries tackle challenges such as disease, hunger, and economic transition with enhanced scientific knowledge.

The initiative stems from heightened interest among scientists around the world in the institution's work and in scientific and technical information in general. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences is a member of the IAP, a worldwide network of 90 science academies that counsel governments and everyday citizens on major global issues such as sustainable development and infectious disease. The IAP has identified equitable access to scientific information and bridging the "digital divide" as major priorities. And it designated April as the time to begin setting and implementing national science agendas that were recommended in a major report issued by the IAP's InterAcademy Council in February at the United Nations. The report, Inventing a Better Future: A Strategy for Building Worldwide Capacities in Science and Technology, is available online at: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/streport.

This news release is available at http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/04052004?OpenDocument.

News in March 2004 ...

- IAP's new executive committee (EC) held its first meeting from 27 to 28 February in Paris, hosted by the French Academy of Sciences. At the meeting, the EC decided on a work plan for the next 3 years, evaluated modifications to the IAP statutes and considered ways of further promoting IAP and its programmes in collaboration with such organizations as the International Council for Science (ICSU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other UN bodies.

The EC agreed that the 2004-2006 work programme will include the following themes:
1. Capacity building for academies: Lead academy: TWAS
2. Health education of women: Lead: French Academy of Sciences
3. Science education: Lead: Chilean Academy of Sciences
4. Water: Lead: Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

The EC also agreed to support several initiatives that will include such activities as organizing workshops and drafting statements. These initiatives, which could be converted into IAP programmes in the future, are: Access to scientific information: Lead: US NAS; Biosecurity: Lead: Accademia dei Lincei; Genetically modified organ-isms (GMO's): Lead: Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

- Academy of Sciences Malaysia in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and IAP is organizing the 2nd International Conference on Primary and Secondary Schools Science and Mathematics Education from 16-18 June 2004 in Kuala Lumpur. The theme of the conference - Creativity in Science and Maths Education: Gateway to the future - will give scientists and science and maths teachers an opportunity to share experiences with international experts and regional officials on the importance of innovative teaching and learning. It will also provide a platform to discuss educational issues relevant to ASEAN countries, with the aim to develop a regional and international network. IAP members are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact: lyeec@pc.jaring.my.

- Brazilian Academy of Sciences sponsored a study visit to Brazil for Patricio Sande (president) and Maria Joaquim Bamo (secretary) of the Scientific Research Association, Mozambique. During their one-month stay, the researchers, who are currently evaluating the possibility of creating a science academy in Mozambique, were acquainted with the structure and functioning of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. The pair visited universities, scientific institutions and government agencies in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília.

- Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei awarded the Antonio Feltrinelli prize to the humanitarian organi-zation Emergency. The Euros 250,000 prize was given for the exceptional humanitarian work carried out by the organization worldwide, including relief efforts in Iraq. For more details, contact: ufficio.premi@lincei.it.

- Cuban Academy of Sciences and UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector are organizing the Greater Caribbean Conference on Science, Technology and Environment in Havana from 9-11 November. IAP is supporting this regional initiative together with other international organizations. For more information, contact: acc@ceniai.inf.cu.

News in February 2004 ...

- InterAcademy Council (IAC) - a branch organization of IAP - has released its first study urging strong science, technology capacity for all nations at a UN launch on 5 February. The study Inventing a Better Future: A Strategy for Building Worldwide Capacities in Science and Technology proposes new initiatives to strengthen national scientific capabilities worldwide.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed at the launch on 5 February the need to mobilize the best scientific minds in service of the world's peoples.

Links:
Press releases (English, Spanish and French), and the full report via the IAC website: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/.

EDITORIAL, Science - Vol.303, 13 February 2004. (pdf format)

- Mother and Child Health: The Pasteur Institute's Centre d'Information Scientifique interactive website, established in 2002, is a valuable source of information for sharing data and planning collaborative projects between scientists and clinicians from developing count-ries. Since January 2003, the website has received al-most 40,000 hits. The most popular page is 'Web Links,' where 79 links have been classified in 17 categories. The page contains information on international organizations working in child health as well as databases on HIV treatments. See: www.mother-child.org

- Science and the Media: Academia Nacional de Cien-cias Exactas Físicas y Naturales de la Argentina, SciDev.Net and the "Club 21" organized a science, technology and media conference, "In Search of a Common Language," 21-22 August 2003. The conference, which took place in Buenos Aires, provided a forum for scientists, public information officers and journalists to share their experience in communicating science and technology issues to the public. More than 450 individuals, mainly from Argentina, were in attendance. For the complete text of the report, see the Science and the Media section on the IAP website.

- Science Education: The proceedings of the IAP seminar "Experimental Materials and Learning Modules for Science Education," organized by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), 24-25 October 2002 in New Delhi, are now available in pdf format on the IAP web-site.