News in January 2002

-The United Nations has begun intense preparation for the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), which is to be held from 26 August - 4 September 2002. Taking account of the summit's theme, IAP strongly believes that it should be directly involved in this global gathering. Science must have a greater presence at Johannesburg, notably via the academies, than it had in the Rio "Earth" Summit in 1992.
In this spirit, we wrote in June and December 2001 to our member academies, asking each to ensure that its country includes one or more prominent scientists in the area of sustainable development in its national representation. Thanks to all those who pursued this request (see "From the Secretariat," p. 2, for more)..... This is why we have found it important for IAP to join ICSU, TWAS and WFEO in the editing of a text that attempts to define "the role in and the contributions of the scientific and technological community to sustainable development." This text will be presented at the "PrepCom," a preparatory meeting for WSSD, which will take place in New York City in late January. The text mentions some of the actions in which IAP is directly involved. IAP will be represented at this meeting by E. Norrby (Sweden), L. Goldfarb (France) and M.H.A. Hassan (TWAS, Italy)..... Extract from the Co-chairs letter to IAP Members in January 2002.

-Brain Gain: As reported in Science, November 2001, The Royal Society of London is launching a programme designed to attract top postdoc researchers from the United States to the United Kingdom beginning in June 2002. The programme, sparked by discussions with the US National Academy of Sciences, is aimed at sharing scientific talent between the two nations. Additional information:

-The Nigerian Academy of Sciences held a forum on capacity building in Nigeria's scientific societies on 18 October 2001. The forum was attended by representatives from the academies of science, engineering and education and Nigerian scientific societies and institutes. The full report can be obtained from the IAP Secretariat.

-The Académie Nationale Malgache will officially begin its centenary celebration on 27 February 2002. The theme for the year-long celebration is "fundamental and applied sciences."

-The Science Council of Japan has released a statement concerning the legal protection of databases. The Council opposes the creation of new copyright laws contending that existing copyright laws are adequate. It also reaffirms its position that full and open exchange of data and information is essential in the conduct of scientific research and education. A copy of the statement can be obtained from the IAP secretariat.