News Archive 2008

 December 2008 ...

- IAP publishes a set of all statements released since 1993 ...

This special celebratory edition has been laid out to distinguish one statement from another yet suggesting they are all part of a single broad initiative to engage policy makers and the public. The publication can be downloaded here.

IAP Members will be sent copies by post. If you would like to receive a printed copy, please send an email to iap@twas.org

TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world's 19th General Meeting and 25th Anniversary Celebrations took place in November at the Mexican Academy of Sciences in Mexico City. Special feature articles on SciDev.net were released to mark the events: Jacob Palis, TWAS President, reflects on the Academy's past successess over the last 25 years and future challenges, and Yojana Sharma examines whether TWAS is any nearer to achieving its goals and assesses the impact and influence TWAS has had in the South.  For information on TWAS, see www.twas.org

- The Royal Society, UK, has conducted a study on ground-level ozone in the 21st century. The study was undertaken by leading experts from across Europe. Tropospheric ozone is a global air pollution problem and an important greenhouse gas. In large areas of the industrialised and developing world, it remains one of the most pervasive of the global air pollutants, with impacts on human health, food production, and the environment. For more information and to view the evidence and data collected, see: http://royalsociety.org/document.asp?tip=0&id=8039

November 2008 ...

- TWAS Supplement to NATURE Publishing Group: On the occasion of TWAS's 25th anniversary, the Academy and NATURE Publishing Group announce the publication of "A World of Science in the Developing World". The supplement's primary goal is to examine critical issues in science, technology and innovation and in science-based international development. The articles are written by prominent scientists, many from the developing world, who are either members of TWAS or researchers who have worked closely with TWAS over the years. Visit (and download) the supplement online at www.nature.com

- The IAP Statement on "The Teaching of Evolution" has been re-published in "Voices for Evolution " - a book produced by the National Ceter for Science Education (US) to collect the full diversity of organizations and perspectives in support of teaching evolution in the schools. Organizations small and large, local, national, and international, have expressed their support for evolution education and taken a stand in defense of the teaching of evolution. The statements, including the IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution (2006) are collected in this volume. For more information, and to download a free copy of the book in pdf format, see: http://ncseweb.org/media/voices

October 2008 ...

- IAP's membership reaches 100 science academies worldwide ...   The IAP Executive Committee at its recent meeting in Ottawa in September 2008 agreed to the applications received from the Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts and The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST). The IAP General Assembly will be asked to endorse new members at its next Session in 2010. The Members Directory is available at: www.interacademies.net/CMS/2950/4015.aspx

 - The Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi is co-organizing the 2nd World Aqua Congress in New Delhi from 26 - 28 November, 2008.  IAP Member Academies are invited to nominate representatives interested in participating. The Congress -  "Current Practices and Planning for the Future" aims to discuss “Global Climate Change and Water Resources” , focusing on the current practices adopted and evolving guidelines for the future. It will provide a common platform to decision makers, policy and law makers, users, technology providers, service providers, and stake holders. IAP Member Academies should contact INSA at: intacademy@insa.nic.in for information on how to participate, or visit: http://www.worldaquacongress.org/

September 2008 ...

- TWAS has recently become a partner of the “Scientists Without Borders”. The programme launched a Web portal in May 2008, whose cornerstone is a database that serves as a digital repository to improve communucation among the research community, aid agencies, NGOs, public-private partnerships, promoting areas such as global health, agricultural progress, and environmental well-being. The database provides a way to match needs with resources. IAP Members are encouraged to join, see scientistswithoutborders.nyas.org/

- SCIENCE vol 321 of 29 August 2008: Jorge E. Allende, Coordinator of IAP's Science Education programme, writes in an Editorial in Science on how member academies of the IAP Network are actively engaged in science education and in promoting inquiry-based science education, at a national and regional level, in order to instill in future generations a fascination with scientific discovery. See the Science education page under programmes for more information.

August 2008...

- IAP Triennial Conference and General Assembly will take place in January 2010, in London, UK, hosted by The Royal Society. The Conference will take place with the Opening Ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 12 January, followed by a two-day conference. The General Assembly will take place on Friday 15 January. All IAP Members are welcome to participate. Information on the scientific programme will follow. The IAP Executive Committee will establish a Conference Committee at its next EC meeting in Ottawa in September 2008. For information, contact: iap@TWAS.org


June/July 2008...

Since 1986, UNESCO/TWAS has supported scientific research and capacity building projects in more than 100 countries in the South. For additional information on the fellowship programmes, including eligibility criteria and application forms, please visit http://www.twas.org/Exchange.

- The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize 2008 to John Griggs Thompson, University of Florida, and Jacques Tits, Collège de France, for their profound achievements in algebra and, in particular, for shaping modern group theory. For more information, see: www.abelprisen.no/en

May 2008 ...

- EASAC (European Academies' Science Advisory Council), an IAP Observer, issued a statement earlier this year reiterating the role of science and technology in developing the economies of the European Union (EU). To achieve these targets would require investment in S&T infrastructure. To see the full report, along with other EASAC publications, see: www.easac.eu/document.asp?id=31

- The Royal Society announces a scientific discussion meeting on Synthetic Biology: Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 June 2008: Synthetic biology has been described as the design and construction of novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or the redesign of existing natural biological systems. It has developed from the convergence of other disciplines such as systems biology, genetic engineering, engineering, information theory, physics, nanotechnologies and computer modelling. This meeting will discuss advances and applications of this exciting technology. The online registration form and programme is available at www.royalsociety.org/events

April 2008 ...

Robert Markus, a researcher at the Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, has won the "Seeing Science" photography contest sponsored by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. More than 300 entries from 30 countries were received. The title of his winning photograph is Fruit fly larva in a drop of water. See: www.knaw.nl/cfdata/news/pressrelease_detail.cfm?nieuws__id=567

- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) organized an international symposium in Stockholm, 12 November 2007, to explore the prospects for energy generated by moving water. Participants examined not only the impact of traditional hydropower facilities but also energy derived from waves, tides and ocean currents. For more information, see: www.kva.se/KVA_Root/swe/events/detail.asp?eventid=628.

- Cameroon Academy of Sciences has published a report on the 2nd Annual International Conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative: 'Prioritizing Food Security Policies for Health and Development in Africa: Science Academy–Policymaker Interaction for Evidence-Based Decision Making'. For a copy of the text, contact: casciences@yahoo.com

- The Royal Society, UK, has recently issued a report on Sustainable biofuels: prospects and challenges. The report concludes that biofuels have a potentially useful role in tackling the issues of climate change and energy supply. However, important opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels, and to ensure wider environmental benefits may be missed with existing policy frameworks and targets. Biofuel development must be supported by appropriate policies and economic instruments. For more information on the study and a copy of the report, see: are available at: http://royalsociety.org/document.asp?tip=1&id=7366

March 2008 ...

- SCIENCE: vol 319, 21 March 2008 : Considering Science Education by Bruce Alberts: I consider science education to be critically important to both science and the world, and I shall frequently address this topic on this page. Let's start with a big-picture view. The scientific enterprise has greatly advanced our understanding of the natural world and has thereby enabled the creation of countless medicines and useful devices. It has also led to behaviors that have improved lives. The public appreciates these practical benefits of science, and science and scientists are generally respected, even by those who are not familiar with how science works or what exactly it has discovered... Download the full article in pdf format.

- IAP has produced a new brochure. Copies will be mailed to IAP Members. If you would like a copy, please contact the IAP Secretariat (iap@twas.org). A pdf file of the brochure is available for download here.

- Uganda National Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with NASIC (Network of Academies of Science of the Organization of Islamic Conference Countries), organized an international seminar on the ‘Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in Economic Growth and Development’, 12-13 December, 2007, Kampala, Uganda. For information, contact: paulnampala@unas.or.ug

- Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology dedicated a major part of its annual plenary session, 20-22 February 2008, to a discussion of the International Year of Planet Earth. Hubert Reeves, research director at Centre national de la recherche scientifique, lectured on “The Future of Life on Earth”. See: www.yearofplanetearth.org/

February 2008 ...

US NAS has produced a book and information booklet on Science, Evolution, and Creationism, in collaboration with the US Institute of Medicine. In the book Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design".

The 8-page summary booklet is available free of charge and can be downloaded from: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11876#description

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a resolution highlighting the dangers that creationism poses for education. The resolution makes reference to the IAP statement on the teaching of evolution issued in 2006. Copies of the resolution are available from the IAP Secretariat.

New Members to IAP ... The Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina has been accepted as an IAP member following a decision at IAP's recent executive committee meeting in Amsterdam at the end of January 2008, bringing IAP's membership to 98. Other recent members to join IAP include the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology and the Sudanese National Academy of Science. For details on the new members, see the country listings at: www.interacademies.net/CMS/2950/4016.aspx

Faculty Grants in Sustainability Science: Centre for International Development,  Harvard University
Due date for applications: March 1, 2008. Applicants should describe how their work would contribute to "sustainability science" - the emerging field of use-inspired research seeking understanding of the interactions between human and environmental systems as well as the application of such knowledge to sustainability challenges relating to advancing development of agriculture, habitation, energy and materials, health and water while conserving the earth’s life support systems. For more information on the application process, see: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/sustsci/grants/faculty/

January 2008 ...

InterAcademy Council (IAC) has released its latest report, Lighting the Way. The report, commissioned by the governments of Brazil and China, provides a scientific roadmap for directing global energy development. Copies have been sent to all IAP members. The text can also be downloaded at: www.interacademycouncil.net.

Polish Academy of Sciences organized an international conference, Advancement of Science and the Dilemma of Dual Use, in Warsaw, 9-10 November 2007. The conference examined the potential misuse of research results that may constitute a peril for international security. For details, see: www.pan.pl

Latvian Academy of Sciences organized the XI Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation National Development Strategies of the Baltic States, in Riga, on 9-10 October 2007. The conference was attended by representatives from the Estonian, Lithuanian, Swedish and Finnish academies. Two resolutions – on Baltic energy issues and science and the humanities in Baltic countries – were issued. For additional information, contact: lza@lza.lv

Academy of Athens has published the proceedings of the IAP-sponsored symposium, Science, Technology and Human Values, organized in May 2007. For more information, contact: info@academyofathens.gr

Academy of Sciences of Moldova organized an international symposium, NANO 2007, on 20-22 September, in Chisinau. The symposium, attended by prominent researchers from Australia, Belarus, Italy, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, received support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. For additional information, contact: intcol@asm.md

Islamic World Academy of Sciences, in association with the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries in Ankara, Turkey, has published the results of a survey on university ranking in OIC countries. The report is available at:  www.sesrtcic.org/files/article/232.pdf