The beginning of a new year offers us the chance to reflect on the challenges that 2020 has thrown our way and those that still lie ahead. First and foremost, we would like to acknowledge the pivotal role IAP member academies and our Regional Networks have been playing in helping to ensure that trustworthy and credible information on COVID-19 is reaching governments, intergovernmental organisations, and as many people as possible.
Looking back at 2020 we are extremely proud to have achieved so much despite the challenges.
- We launched the new IAP website, whose radical redesign is the result of a deep analysis of what IAP has become, what it is going to be moving forward, and how we can better communicate the importance of science, engineering and medicine.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, IAP issued three communiqués related to the crisis (the IAP Communiqué on the COVID-19 pandemic, the IAP Communiqué on Green Recovery, and the IAP Communiqué on the Development and Distribution of Vaccines against COVID-19) and also launched the IAP COVID-19 Expert Group.
- IAP continued Climate Change and Health, an inter-regional project focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies that bring health co-benefits.
- The Combatting Predatory Academic Journals and Conferences project is gauging the extent and impact of predatory practices, identifying their root causes, and reviewing efforts to combat them.
- A project on refugee and displaced scientists was established by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in partnership with the International Science Council (ISC) and IAP.
Finally, three new academies have been accepted for membership: the Algerian Academy of Sciences and Technology (AAST), the Rwanda Academy of Sciences, and the Tunisian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts Beit al Hikma. Now under the umbrella of IAP, 143 national, regional and global member academies work together to support the vital role of science in seeking solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.
The need for science, rationality and critical thinking has never been stronger, and IAP is here to provide a collective mechanism for academies to further strengthen their crucial roles as providers of evidence-based policy and advice.
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