The Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (AMC) is a civil organization founded in 1959, comprising Mexican scientists that conduct research in every area of the exact, natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities and engineering. For the AMC, education, science, technology and innovation form a chain that contributes to the country’s full development, for the benefit of all Mexicans. Activities of the AMC are oriented towards developing and consolidating scientific culture in society, disseminating knowledge among children and youth, promoting the training of new researchers, encouraging communication and collaboration with the various organizations responsible for research in Mexico, acknowledging the scientific work of young researchers and reinforcing the Academy international presence.
The AMC provides consultancy services and undertakes performance evaluations for federal and local governments, the legislative and judicial branches and other organizations in civil society, regarding issues about which they are consulted in order to facilitate decision-making based on scientific and technical evidence. Through an annual national announcement, researchers from all over the country apply to become members of the AMC. As a result, by 2007, the AMC comprised a total of 2071 researchers grouped into three areas of knowledge: 1. - Exact Sciences (Astronomy, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics); 2. - Natural Sciences (Agro-sciences, Biology and Medicine); and 3. - Social Sciences and Humanities. The AMC has also established regional sections, grouping together various states in Mexico: Center, Southeast I, Southeast II, Northwest and Northeast. From the total of 2,071 members, 464 are women and 1607 are men.
The AMC also has corresponding members from various countries, who are active researchers that have achieved recognition in their disciplines and significantly contributed to the development of research in Mexico. There are currently 71 Corresponding members, including nine Nobel laureates.
Some of the most important awards given by the AMC are granted for young scientists below 40 years old. As a matter of gender, these awards specified 43 years old for women. In 2006, the AMC jointly with UNESCO and L’Oreal, created the “Fellowships for young women scientists” (below 36 years) to encourage young women in research activities. Each grant consists in 10,000 USD for one year. Jointly with the Lindau Foundation, the AMC sponsored the participation of young Mexican scientists in the Annual Lindau Meeting with Nobel Laureates. Finally, the AMC and the United States-Mexico Science Foundation offer scholarships to Mexican young scientists, to spend the summer period at a US research institution.
According to the AMC statutes, the Board of Directors is responsible for supervising and managing all the Academy affairs, and implementing the decisions made at the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assemblies. It consists of a President, a Vice-President, two Secretaries, (one appointed by the incoming president and another by vote) and a Treasurer who will serve in the Board for two years. The Vice-President will occupy the post of President during the immediately next period. The Board of Directors meets once a month on a regular basis. In case it is needed, they increase the frequency of the meetings. A General Assembly per year is mandatory; however the Board of Directors can call for extraordinary assemblies as needed. All AMC former Presidents form the Advisory Council of Presidents to advice the present Board of Directors.
The Academy has Standing Commissions and Special Committees. The Membership Commission, led by the Vice-president of AMC, is composed of ten researchers from the areas of exact, natural and social sciences, each of whom occupies this post for four years. Every two years, half of the members, who have held the post for four years, are replaced by new members, elected by secret ballot. Every year, this Commission analyzes all candidates seeking election as regular or corresponding members. The Awards Commission, also led by the Vice-president of AMC is divided into five areas: Exact Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering and Technology. It analyzes and determines the recipients of the various awards granted annually by AMC. Every year, half the Commission’s members, who have held the post for two years, are replaced by new members.
The AMC has groups of specialists on major national issues convened as Special Committees. These teams undertake studies that take advantage of the high level of the academicians and the multi-disciplinary nature of the Academy, to analyze the status of various issues by comparing the national situation with that of other countries and issuing recommendations to orient the decision-making of government authorities. For example, special committees have been established on Water, Biotechnology, Trunk Cells and Cloning.
Founded over 65 years ago, the Academy publishes the Journal Ciencia, which is a quarterly review with a print run of 6,000 aimed at members of the scientific community, higher education and research institutes and all professionals wishing to keep abreast of scientific advances, scientific planning and policy and human resource training. The AMC has also published over 100 publications including books, studies and projects on various topics.
The average annual budget of the AMC is four millions USD. The Academy has the support of various public and private institutions that have generously contributed to its activities. These include the National Council of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Public Education, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, among others institutions, which have enabled the Academy to consolidate several programs, create others, and support many of the activities involved in scientific work in Mexico.
In order to reinforce research efforts among AMC members as well as to remain in contact with international organizations, the Academia coordinates various exchange and research support programs by maintaining solid links with similar international organizations. It has bilateral agreements with the following organizations:
AMC currently is a member and collaborates closely with the following international organizations: