News Archive 2003

News in December 2003

Press releases covering the events in Mexico City, 1-5 December 2003, in English and Spanish: Link to conference website

Results of elections for IAP executive committee 2004-2006
Co-chairs: Yves Quere (France) and Chen Zhu (China)
Committee members: Academies of Science of Bangladesh, India, Cuba, Brazil, Nigeria, Senegal, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, USA, Japan.

IAP resolution reiterating support for therapeutic cloning ...

Members of the InterAcademy Panel, gathered for their General Assembly at the Mexican Academy of Sciences, are deeply concerned by an apparent proposal to move a vote at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday 8 December to ban all forms of human cloning. The IAP is the global consortium of the world's national academies of science. Sixty-six national academies, from all parts of the world and all cultural traditions, under the leadership of the IAP, called in September 2003 for a global ban on human reproductive cloning as a matter of urgency. Crucially, however, the 66 academies also called for policies on the acceptability of cloning for research and therapeutic purposes to be excluded from the global ban and to be determined at the national level. In doing this, the Academies recognized both the diversity of views on this difficult issue and the great medical potential of research on stem cells and cloning. This position was partially upheld by the U.N. Legal Committee on 6 November 2003, when a proposal to ban all forms of human cloning was put into abeyance for two years. We call upon the U.N. to stand by the decision of 6 November, to heed IAP's clear expression of global scientific consensus, and not to jeopardize the potential and far-reaching medical benefits that may arise from cloning for research and therapeutic purposes.. See link to statements.

News in September 2003

IAP has released its fourth statement, calling for a ban on human reproductive cloning. The statement, available here in several languages, will be sent to the United Nations Committee on Cloning which meets from 29 September.

IAP Publications: A new brochure is available in pdf format on the Panel, giving an overview of its activities.

News in August 2003

Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Ministry of Education, Malaysia, French Academy of Sciences, French Embassy in Malaysia and the French Regional Cooperation are jointly organizing a workshop on science education, namely the successful French LAMAP programme, hands-on science education for primary school children. For more information, see the link to IAP Science and Education programme on the left bar.

News in July 2003

UN - CSTD electronic working groups: the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) decided in May 2003 that the substantive theme and focus of its work during 2003-2004 will be "Promoting the application of science and technology to meet the Millennium Development Goals". The CSTD is organizing, from 15 June to 15 August 2003, four e-mail working groups to provide input. Working groups discuss the risks and benefits of new and emerging technologies, ways to strengthen basic and applied research and science advisory mechanisms in developing countries, and strategic partnerships in science and technology. Anyone can join. See:

News in June 2003

EC has approved the application of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters for membership to the Panel. That brings IAP's membership to 90. EC also extended observer status to the Caribbean Scientific Union. The full membership is expected to formally welcome both institutions in December 2003.

The Library of Alexandria, Egypt, organized a conference on Science and Maths Education for the 21st Century, in collaboration with IAP. The conference took place from 20-23 June 2003.

Following the IAP workshop organized by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences for science academies in Latin America and the Caribbean region in September 2002, a follow-up activity is scheduled to take place in Mexico City, 11-12 August 2003, for representatives from the same academies of science. The event will be hosted by the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Participants will examine progress made on the recommendations issued at the previous workshop.

The French Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society, UK, have co-sponsored a "Prix Franco-Britannique" or "British-French Prize" since 1985 for young outstanding scientists. The prize, now in its 18th year, carries a reward of 6000 euros for travel. Christl Donnely, a young British mathematician, working on epidemiology, is this year's winner.

News in May 2003

IAP's Capacity Building Programme:
Representatives from African science academies including Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda, and the African Academy of Sciences, visited the US NAS in Washington, D.C. from 1-11 April 2003. The NAS hosted the event and supported local costs. One of the most successful sessions related to the issues of fund-raising and proposal writing.

Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, hosted the 6th executive committee (EC) meeting of IAP on 23 and 24 May 2003. Lincei, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, is one of the world's oldest science academies. For a complete list of the year-long events to mark the anniversary, see:

Chinese Academy of Sciences has launched a research project for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of serious acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). For more information, see:

News in April 2003

IAP General Assembly: "Science for Society" has been chosen as the theme for the IAP conference of the world's scientific academies, which will be held in Mexico City, 1-4 December 2003l, hosted by the Academía Mexicana de Ciencias. The executive committee is finalizing the programme, an outline of which has been distributed to the membership. One-page statements are planned for each IAP programme.

IAP's executive committee approved the nomination of the Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana for membership to the Panel. IAP's membership now stands at 89.

2nd International Conference on K-12 Science Education will be held in Monterrey from 11 - 13 May 2003. IAP members involved in the initiative include the Academia Chilena de Ciencias, ACAL (Academia de Ciencias de América Latina), US National Academy of Sciences and the Academía Mexicana de Ciencias. More information can be obtained directly from the US-Mexico Foundation for Science. Contact: Y. Sierra ( Programme is available on the science education page (left).

News in March 2003

IAP's workshop on Capacity Building for Academies in Countries with Predominantly Muslim Communities and symposium on Science, Religion and Values, held in Trieste on 5-7 March 2003, marked the latest events in the IAP's "Capacity Building for Academies" initiative. Specific recommendations, agreed to by the participants, can be seen at:

Both the workshop and symposium received extensive media coverage that included the publication of a feature article and an editorial in Nature (13 March 2003).

News in January 2003

The IAP executive committee has accepted the nomination of the Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela, Palestine Academy for Science and Technology, and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan into the IAP membership. IAP members will vote on the EC recommendations at the general assembly in 2003. IAP membership now stands at 88.

TWAS, in collaboration with US NAS, is organizing an IAP workshop on capacity building for science academies which are located in countries with predominantly Muslim communities. The workshop will take place from 5-7 March 2003 in Trieste. Details are available at

African Academy of Sciences (AAS), in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) foundation, organized a workshop examining the threat that HIV/AIDS poses to political stability in Africa. The workshop took place on 16-18 September 2002. Participants from Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were in attendance.

Polska Akademia Nauk, celebrated its 50th anniversary on 9 December 2002 in Warsaw. Alexsander Kwasniewski, Poland's president, and Leszek Miller, Poland's prime minister, gave opening addresses.

InterAcademy Council (IAC): The IAC's first study, focusing on science and technology capacity building, will be issued in early 2003. See for information.