Latin America and the Caribbean Press Release

IAP Programmes

capacity building for academies ... IANAS


June 02, 2004 - The Academies of Sciences of the countries of the Americas met in Santiago, Chile, from May 5 - 7, 2004, to establish the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS). This new organization is dedicated to building scientific capacities in each country by:

- strengthening science and technology relationships as a tool for societal development;
- enhancing capacities of the Academies of the region through exchange of information and experience;
- helping establish Academies in countries lacking such institutions; and
- influencing the scientific decision making processes in the Americas, with the goal of increasing the quality of life of citizens of the Americas.

IANAS identified science education and water as top priorities for the first two initiatives of the network. The education program will focus on Elementary level science education, however, activities on secondary and tertiary science education will also be considered. Working together with teachers and educational authorities, the members of Science Academies of the Americas aim to improve the level and relevance of science education in the hemisphere. The innovative Inquiry-Based Science Education is the centerpiece of the program, led by the Chilean Academy of Sciences.

Access to clean water is a major challenge in the 21st century. This program, led by the Brazilian and Mexican Academies of Sciences, will include capacity building for water resources management, the development of research resulting in new water management strategies, leading to better recycling and conservation methodologies.

Howard Alper (Royal Society of Canada) and Hernan Chaimovich Guralnik (Brazilian Academy of Sciences) were elected as Co-Chairs of the network for a three-year period from 2004 to 2007. (Bios are attached for both Alper and Chaimovich). The Academies from Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, the US and the Caribbean Scientific Union were elected as members of the Executive Board.

Key multilateral organizations present at the meeting, including the Organization of American States, UNESCO, the InterAcademy Panel, the International Council for Science, and the InterAmerican Development Bank expressed support for IANAS as a bold new initiative that will play an important role in advancing science and the quality of life in the American hemisphere. For further information, please contact:

Hernan Chaimovich

Howard Alper