January 1, 2015
Volume 3, Issue 42
Dear IAP Member Academies,
We wish to thank the Académie des sciences (France) for their generous hospitality in hosting IAP’s Executive Committee (EC) meeting in Paris in November 2014.The first meeting of the new Board of the InterAcademy Partnership (including the Steering Committee plus representatives of IAP's four regional networks) was held alongside the EC meeting where discussions focused on the future development of the Partnership, including planning for fundraising activities and the publication of a Partnership prospectus. A number of IAP members have committed funds, some for substantial amounts to support fundraising activities. Further attention is now focusing on developing a clear strategy to support dialogues with potential donors and foundations. In addition, the Board agreed that a new overarching strategic plan with clear priorities for science, health and research will be developed and presented to the Partnership’s Steering Committee at its next meeting in Trieste, Italy, in February 2015. A logo has also been developed, a new website page created http://www.interacademies.org/, and information material is currently being printed by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
The IAP EC also discussed a short-list of topics collated through the 2014 Horizon Scanning exercise, and further analysis is underway on which priorities IAP for Science should address. Among the themes, the EC decided that the Global Young Academy (GYA) will take the lead for a study on ‘Solid Waste Management and Green Economy’ in conjunction with IAP for which some seed funding has also been allocated.
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has received financial support from the German government for a 3-year IAP project on “Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security”, on condition that IAP member academies provide in-kind support (staff time, hosting of study panel meetings, etc.). The project will involve the 4 IAP regional affiliated networks and will result in 4 regional statements plus an over-arching global statement.
Meanwhile, the IAP Programmes, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee undertook its first review of IAP projects implemented in 2013, with a meeting in New Delhi, India, in December 2014 hosted by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and chaired by Krishan Lal. Activities implemented by the Affiliated Regional Networks in 2013, supported by IAP funds were also evaluated and a report of the exercise will be available in due course. A pool of external reviewers contributed to the evaluation exercise, to whom we are most thankful for their time and support.
IAP continues to participate in the consultation processes that have taken place on Disaster Risk Reduction. Member academies’ feedback to a survey coordinated by the STMG (Science and Technology Major Group) were fed into the second preparatory meeting for the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (3rdWCDRR) which took place in Geneva in November 2014. A number of EC Member Academies are running activities in this area, and we encourage further involvement of IAP and representatives from academies of science in these DRR processes, especially as global discussions move towards a new agreement on DRR to be finalized in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015.
The Cambridge Malaysian Education and Development Trust in partnership with the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), are now engaged in the ‘Smart Villages’ initiative, a study of sustainable energy for villages off-grid in Africa, Asia and Latin America. IAP Members Academies located in these regions have also been invited to participate in the initiative.
In conclusion, 2014 was a busy and successful year for IAP and its member academies and as always, we thank you for your commitment and support to our activities and look forward to continued collaboration in 2015.
Happy New Year!
Mohamed Hassan & Volker ter Meulen
The InterAcademy Partnership will undertake an evidence-based study on ‘Assessing Scientific Publications’. The study will take into account current research evaluation practices across the sciences, examining the strengths and weaknesses of these systems in advancing the global research enterprise, and exploring the merits and feasibility of possible alternatives. The study will be led by an expert panel representing a range of countries and disciplines, and will result in a report that provides recommendations and guidance for research sponsors, journals, scientific societies and other stakeholders. Regular updates will be provided to IAP members. For more information, contact TArrison@nas.edu.
InterAcademy Partnership Steering Committee meeting @ Trieste, Italy
7-8 February 2015
3rd IAP/IAC/IAMP Joint Session & 2nd meeting of the InterAcademy Partnership Board @ New Delhi, India
28-29 September 2015
IAP Conference & General Assembly @ Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa
28 February-2 March 2016
For more updates, see Meetings & Events
The African European Mediterranean Academies for Science Education (AEMASE) network and ALLEA published the report on the International AEMASE Conference on Science Education in December 2014. The conference was held at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy, in May 2014. Copies are available from the IAP Secretariat.
In December 2014, the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) released a statement on Enhancing the Integrity of Scientific Research, in collaboration with the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU), Japan Association of Public Universities (JAPU), and Federation of Japanese Private Colleges and Universities Associations (FJPCUA).
In December 2014, the Royal Society (UK) published a report on “Resilience to extreme weather”. The report explores the risks posed by extreme weather now and in the future. It also examines how the impact of extreme weather can be reduced: from specific physical defenses against floods, droughts and heatwaves, to more general principles for building resilience at global, national and local levels.
In November 2014, the Academy of Sciences of Nicaragua hosted the international workshop on ‘Major Scientific and Technical Issues associated with the Interoceanic Canal through Nicaragua’ in Managua. The workshop was co-organized by the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS) and the International Council for Science - Regional Office for Latin American and the Caribbean (ICSU-LAC).
In October 2014, a Statement was released by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and acatech – the German Academy of Science and Engineering, in which they call for consequences from the Ebola virus epidemic to be taken and for future preparedness to be increased by medical and social science research in this area.
More than 130 participants attended the IAP Science Education Programme (SEP) Biennial Conference, held in Beijing, China in October 2014. At the close of the meeting, members of IAP's SEP Global Council issued the 'Beijing Declaration'. The Declaration, subsequently endorsed by the EC, calls on member academies, governments, the private sector and UNESCO to strengthen science education around the world - with a focus on the proven methods of inquiry-based science education (IBSE).
The IAP Conference "Science for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development: a Call for Action" took place in Manaus, Brazil, on 3-5 December 2014. Coordinated by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and organized by the IAP Science for Poverty Eradication Committee (SPEC), the conference brought together 30 experts from 23 different countries to discuss critical issues that severely impact the poor. Throughout the event, the mobilization of the international scientific community in the efforts to help eradicate poverty and contribute to the design of the Post 2015 Development Agenda, and subsequent implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, was seen as a paramount challenge. Engaging the world’s science academies in this process is an important step in this direction, and is part of SPEC‘s core mission.
AASSA held its 3rd General Assembly in October 2014 at the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi. Among other things, the network’s science advice activities and global knowledge syntheses were discussed. Krishan Lal, immediate past president of INSA, was elected President of AASSA.
EASAC published a report on ‘Shale Gas Extraction’ and launched its report on ‘Antimicrobial Drug Discovery’ with a discussion event in Brussels in December 2014. Panelists included MEPs, and scientists as well as pharmaceutical company representatives.
IAC released its review on the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) undertaken following a request from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The review was released during the 10th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA 10) in Kampala, Uganda, November 2014 and includes recommendations for the African science academies to help build on the success of ASADI.
IANAS and the Royal Society of Canada held a ‘Women for Sciences’ focal points meeting in Ottawa, Canada, in September 2014, which discussed the final stages for the publication of ‘Challenges and lives of young women scientists of the Americas’.
NASAC launched its policymakers’ booklet on water, with funding from IAP, the Dutch and German ministries and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, in Rabat, Morocco, during the Water Session of the 3rd Ministerial Forum on STI in October 2014.
IAMP organized the 4th IAMP Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Programme in October 2014 in conjunction with the annual World Health Summit in Berlin, Germany. A group of 20 Young Physician Leaders from 16 countries were nominated by IAMP member academies, and were joined by four alumni from previous editions of the training workshops.
In 2015, IAP’s Young Scientist Programme will take place as a side event during the World Science Forum (4-7 November 2015) in Budapest, Hungary. A call to IAP member academies to nominate excellent young scientists will be issued in early 2015. IAP will select 20-25 of the top nominations in consultation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The Global Young Academy issued a call to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to integrate science in the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda in December 2014. The letter, written in response to the report by the UN’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, stressed the importance of science for achieving sustainability and poverty reduction and contains five recommendations.
IAP’s first-ever Annual Report provides an overview of IAP activities in 2013, with specific sections on activities by affiliated regional networks AASSA, EASAC, IANAS, and NASAC, and by the thematic networks IAMP and IAC.
Copies are available from the IAP Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) or online.