June 24, 2014
Volume 2, Issue 40
Dear IAP Member Academies,
A second joint meeting of the executive committees of IAP and IAMP and the IAC board took place at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, in May 2014. An agreement was reached to work towards developing the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), an umbrella organization that combines the strength of all three networks. Details on the proposed structure of the new IAP were circulated to member academies in a letter from the Co-chairs, dated 26 May 2014. We believe the synergies of the three organizations – in tandem with the combined forces of our member academies and regional networks – will give this new InterAcademy Partnership a unique strength within the global science and health communities. This, in turn, should enable our work to have an even greater impact as we seek to serve society and promote sustainable development. In Rome, it was agreed that the Board of the new InterAcademy Partnership will be composed of the co-chairs of the 3 founding organizations plus a nominated representative from each affiliated regional network (AASSA, EASAC, IANAS and NASAC), with the 6 Co-Chairs forming an executive committee. The respective Co-chairs and secretariats are now working on the terms of reference of this new body, and on a Partnership prospectus to assist with fundraising. The 6 Co-chairs will meet again this summer to maintain the momentum and agree on administrative procedures.
Meanwhile, IAP’s horizon-scanning exercise among member academies and affiliated regional networks has yielded first results and at the IAP EC meeting in Rome a number of exciting topics were prioritized, including the assessment of published science; responsible science; science education/science literacy; and advising society on science. Due to the large number of topics proposed by our membership and the Global Young Academy (GYA) we have ample material to work on and will not be issuing the online call for proposals this year.
The 6 Co-chairs representing the EC of the InterAcademy Partnership has engaged with the World Summit of Legislators (GLOBE International) and sent them a copy of the report ‘Climate Change: Evidence and Causes’ (published by the Royal Society, UK, and US NAS), underlining that this is a valuable reference document for those seeking authoritative answers about the current consensus of climate change science. The report was presented to GLOBE International members at their meeting in Mexico City from 6-8 June 2014 by the President of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, José Franco. IAP is now looking at ways to interact further with GLOBE.
Last but not least, the IAP EC has accepted the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) into its Membership. IAP membership now stands at 107 academies. Welcome aboard!
Mohamed Hassan & Volker ter Meulen
NASAC launched a report ‘Preventing a Tobacco Epidemic in Africa’ in May 2014 in conjunction with the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ghanaian Ministry of Health’s launch of ‘World No Tobacco Day’. The Minister of Health for Ghana, the Hon. Ms. Sherry-Hanny Ayittey, delivered a keynote address. NASAC’s most recent Council meeting, held in Rabat, Morocco, in June 2014, was hosted by the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology.
The AASSA Regional Workshop on ‘Women in Science and Technology’ took place in May 2014 in Izmir, Turkey. organized by the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) with support from IAP. This was the third in a series of activities for the advancement of women in science. The workshop aimed at compiling concrete recommendations and action plans for future efforts for the advancement of women in science and engineering globally.
The recent EASAC Council meeting hosted by the Latvian Academy of Sciences in May 2014 provided updates on ongoing projects but also focused on the best way forward for a study on ‘Shale Gas/Fracking’ and on next steps for the study on ‘Space Exploration’.
EASAC is co-organizing a brainstorming workshop with the Joint Research Centre (JRC - the ‘science service’ of the European Commission) and the GYA on 11 July 2014 in Brussels. The event aims at exploring the possibility of involving the GYA in the JRC's dialogue with other academic stake-holders, as well as facilitating an interactive debate on creative and innovative approaches to address complex societal challenges.
IANAS is coordinating a symposium on ‘New Horizons in Sciences: Young Scientists of Canada, US and Mexico’ which will take place in Mexico, 22-24 June 2014. The event, hosted by the Mexican Academy of Sciences with the support of US-NAS and the Royal Society of Canada, aims to create deeper scientific linkages and stimulate cross-disciplinary collaborations among the next generation of leaders in the North American science community.
IAMP is organizing a Health Inequities Review workshop in Trieste, Italy, 3-5 July 2014. IAMP is also requesting member academies to nominate candidates to participate in the Young Physician Leaders Programme, Berlin, Germany, during the World Health Summit, October 2014.
Visit the Networks pages for more publications supported by IAP
The First Africa Young Academies Regional Conference took place in February 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya, organized by the GYA with support from NASAC and funding from the Robert Bosch Foundation. The conference’s main objective was to engage and empower excellent young researchers from across Africa to address the challenges that impede scientific development towards a sustainable future for the region. The opening ceremony of the conference witnessed the official launch of the Kenyan National Young Academy of Science (KNYAS).
The 4th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the GYA took place in May in Santiago de Chile, Chile. The Australian social scientist, Eva Alisic, was elected to the GYA Co-chair position, alongside the re-elected co-chair Sameh Soror (Egypt). Juan Asenjo, President of the Chilean Academy of Sciences and IANAS co-chair, delivered an ‘Introduction to IAP’ during the opening session.